River-class patrol vessel
HMS Clyde leaving Portsmouth in 2007
|Builders:||Vosper Thornycroft (now BAE Systems Surface Ships)|
|Operators:|| Royal Navy
Royal Thai Navy
|Preceded by:||Castle class|
|In commission:||June 2003-current|
|Type:||Offshore Patrol Vessel|
81.5 metres (Clyde)
90.5 metres (Forth subgroup)
|Installed power:||4,125 kW (5,532 hp) at 1,000 rpm|
|Propulsion:||2 × Ruston 12RK 270 diesel engines, 280kW bow thruster, 185kW stern thruster|
|Range:||7,800 nautical miles (14,400 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
5,500 nmi (Clyde, Forth subgroup)
|Endurance:||21 days (Clyde)
35 days (Forth subgroup)
|Boats and landing
|Troops:||Accommodation for 20 extra personnel|
|Complement:||30, 36 (Clyde)|
|Air/surface surveillance radar|
The River class is a class of offshore patrol vessels built primarily for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. A total of eight are planned: four for the Royal Navy replaced the seven ships of the Island class and the two Castle class patrol vessels. HTMS Krabi was a variation on the River design built in Thailand for the Royal Thai Navy. Three more were ordered for the Royal Navy in 2013, stretched to include a Merlin-capable flightdeck.
In the Royal Navy, the River class are primarily used with the Fishery Protection Squadron and EEZ patrol. The fourth Royal Navy vessel (HMS Clyde (P257)) features several modifications allowing her to undertake duties in the South Atlantic and the Falkland Islands.
Tyne, Severn and Mersey
The ships are significantly larger than the Island-class vessels and have a large open deck aft allowing them to be fitted with equipment for a specific role, which can include fire-fighting, disaster relief and anti-pollution work. For this purpose, a 25 tonne capacity crane is fitted. In addition, the deck is strong enough for the transport of various tracked and wheeled light vehicles, or an LCVP.
Initially the three ships were not owned by the Royal Navy. They were constructed under an arrangement with the shipbuilder, Vosper Thornycroft (VT), under which the Royal Navy leased the vessels from the shipbuilder for a period of ten years. VT were responsible for all maintenance and support for the ships during the charter period. At the end of this, the Navy could then either return the ships, renew the lease or purchase them outright. In September 2012, it was announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that the Ministry of Defence had purchased the vessels for £39 million.
A modified fourth vessel for the Royal Navy, HMS Clyde, was constructed at Portsmouth Dockyard and replaced the two vessels of the Castle-class patrol vessel for duties in the Falkland Islands. This ship displaces 1,850 tonnes and has a 30mm gun, as well as a deck strengthened for aircraft operations.
Forth, Medway and Trent
On 6 November 2013 it was announced that the Royal Navy had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new OPVs -based on the River class design- at a fixed price of £348m including spares and support. In August 2014, BAE Systems signed the £348 million contract to build the three new OPVs on the Clyde in Scotland. The new vessels will be used for constabulary duties such as "counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations". According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers. Steel was cut on 10 October 2014 and they are expected to enter service starting 2017, with the last being delivered by the end of 2018.
Similar in design to the Amazonas-class corvette (the Brazilian variant of the BAE Offshore Patrol Vessel), the new ships will incorporate a Merlin-capable flight deck, a top speed of 24 knots, be 90.5 metres in length and displace around 2,000 tonnes. Initial press reports suggested they would have a range of 6,300 nmi (11,700 km) but more recent MoD publications put them at 5,500nmi like Clyde. They will be fitted with the Kelvin Hughes SharpEye integrated radar system.
Three vessels of the Amazonas-class corvette based on the River class were built by BAE in the United Kingdom. They were originally intended to be exported for use by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, however the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago cancelled the order in September 2010. In December 2011 it was reported that the Brazilian Navy were interested in buying the vessels, and possibly up to five additional vessels of the same design. The sale, for £133 million (compared to an original £150m), was then confirmed on 2 January 2012.
|Date||Running cost||What is included||Citation|
|2009-10||£5 million||"The average running cost per class of River Class is £20 million... These figures, based on the expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Defence in 2009-10, include maintenance, safety certification, military upgrades, manpower, inventory, satellite communication, fuel costs and depreciation."|||
BAE Systems Offshore Patrol Vessels
|River-class patrol vessel (Royal Navy)|
|Tyne||P281||VT Shipbuilding, Southampton||27 April 2002||4 July 2003||In active service|
|Severn||P282||VT Shipbuilding, Southampton||4 December 2002||31 July 2003||In active service|
|Mersey||P283||VT Shipbuilding, Southampton||25 June 2003||28 November 2003||In active service|
|Clyde||P257||VT Shipbuilding, Portsmouth||14 June 2006||30 January 2007||In active service|
|Forth||BAE Systems, Glasgow||2017||Under construction|
|Medway||BAE Systems, Glasgow||2017-18||On order|
|Trent||BAE Systems, Glasgow||2018||On order|
|Krabi Offshore Patrol Vessel (Royal Thai Navy)|
|Krabi||551||Bangkok Dock||3 December 2011||26 August 2013||In active service|
|Amazonas-class corvette (Brazilian Navy)|
|Amazonas||P120||BAE Systems, Portsmouth||18 November 2009||29 June 2012||In active service|
|Apa||P121||BAE Systems, Scotstoun||15 July 2010||30 November 2012||In active service|
|Araguari||P122||BAE Systems, Scotstoun||16 July 2010||21 June 2013||In active service|
- Amazonas-class corvette
- Khareef-class corvette - 99 metre warship for Oman based on the River class but with more weapons
- BAE Systems Offshore Patrol Vessels, baesystems.com, Retried 8 June 2014
- Colledge, J. J. (2010). Ships of the Royal Navy. Casemate Publishers. p. 83. ISBN 9781612000275.
- Bush, Steve (2014). British Warships and Auxiliaries. Maritime Books. p. 24. ISBN 1904459552.
- Royal Navy HMS Clyde, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 8 June 2014. Quote - "As part of her deterrence role she also regularly visits other British Overseas Territories in the area such as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. At just over 2,000 tonnes displacement, she may not be the biggest ship in the Navy, but this is certainly made up for in capability."
- BAE, UK Government Settle Agreement on New Patrol Vessels, defensenews.com, 12 August 2014
- "HMS Clyde Becomes First Ship Built In Portsmouth for Nearly 40 Years". Royal Navy. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21.
- "First steel cut on new patrol ships". UK Ministry of Defence. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "MoD buys £39m patrol ships from BAE". Press Association. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Daily Hansard - Written Answers Column 561W". UK Parliament. 12 November 2013.
- BAE Systems wins £348 million contract for new UK patrol ships, uk.reuters.com, 12 August 2014
- "Work on three new patrol ships to begin in October". Navy News. 12 August 2014.
- Offshore Patrol Vessels, baesystems.com. Retrieved 31st October 2014.
- Tomkins, Richard (14 April 2015). "Britain orders Kelvin Hughes radar system". UPI. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
- "Brazil could buy the 3 BAE System's OPV that were canceled by Trinidad and Tobago". Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- "BAE Systems sells patrol vessels to Brazil". BBC News. 2012-01-02.
- Hansard 24 November 2010 Written Answers.
- Royal Navy - Patrol Boats - River Class (royalnavy.mod.uk)
- Naval Technology: River class project page