Brazilian media are reporting that the country is to take over HMS Clyde when the Offshore Patrol Vessel leaves Royal Navy service.

The news was reportedly announced during the ‘Brazil-United Kingdom Defense Industry Dialogue’ event, held in the Brazilian Navy Cultural Center in São Paulo.

Local media have since reported that Rear Admiral Amaury Calheiros Boite confirmed that the Brazilian Navy has been in talks with the Royal Navy and BAE Systems to take over the lease of HMS Clyde when it expires at the end of 2019.

HMS Clyde is part of the Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron. The Offshore Patrol Vessel was designed and built by BAE Systems and is leased and operated by the Royal Navy, while the company provides maintenance and logistical support to the vessel.

HMS Clyde will be replaced by a new Batch 2 River class vessel, HMS Forth.

Forth was commissioned into the Royal Navy in April 2018, following a ceremony at Portsmouth. However in June 2018 it was announced Forth would be entering dry dock for major rectification work likely to take more than three months. The Royal Navy reactivated HMS Tyne to cover planned patrols by Forth, with BAE Systems covering the additional costs.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Typical, we get rid of the most capable of the old batch 1 rivers. We should have bought it and used it for patrolling Scottish waters. Or BAE should have given it to the RN for free as a X-mas 🎁 gift after the cock up with the new OPVs.

    • The RN never owned it in the first place, and the budget doesn’t exist to buy it outright. Would you prefer the MoD spend even more money on OPVs when there are frigates and aircraft to buy?

      • Sadly Callum, the way it’s going with Brexit we may need such vessels as these, and in quick order! Fisheries/illegal immigration could be two areas where the UK Border Force and the RN, may find themselves under the most pressure? The May Brexit plan allows for these two issues to be challenged by more than one EU country, during the yet determined transition period.

      • I know the RN never owned Clyde but I bet she’s sold for peanuts. Ships like HMS Clyde free up frigates and destroyers for more important duties and are perfect for drug smuggling and constabulary duties that expensive frigates and destroyers would be doing otherwise, and it would save the RN money keeping her in my opinion, and the ship is already fully operational but maybe man power is the only real draw back. But atleast the falklands are getting a slight upgrade in the form of HMS forth with Hms Clyde going to Brazil.🙂

        • Not much of an upgrade really and I say that as somebody who likes the Rivers.

          I think patrol work at that distance should mean something about 2500t and a hangar even if a helicopter isn’t going to be carried as norm every deployment. And though I don’t think it is needed in Europe or even in the Med I think a proper medium mount.

  2. It would be interesting to know what the purchase cost to the RN would have been to buy out the lease and also is Brazil actually taking on the lease or is it buying out the lease itself after the MoD declined the presumably first refusal it had on that option?.

    I suspect this is a good move because, unless the buyout cost was very low, my first thoughts would have been how many brand new 42m Border Force cutters could the UK have brought with the money it used to buy out the Clyde lease.

    If the B1s hadn’t already been bought out of their leases a while ago I would also wonder there how many more vessels we could have had for UK waters had we spent that money on more Border Force cutters. For instance the Finns had three 49m cutters on sale and we only bought 1 of them (now HMC Protector). It’s a shame we couldn’t have bought all three.

    The Border Force cutters are pretty flexible vessels that have been deployed down to the Med on occasions. A few more would be very helpful especially if that did mean more opportunity to cover some Med activities with them without overly-depleting the numbers in UK waters.

    • Not taking advantage of the Finnish Border Guards cockup was a mistake, all of them should have been bought for a song.

  3. Given reason events it seems we need Border Force Cutters in the English Channel not the Med. Our friends in the EU should be policing the Med.

    • Fair point. I guess post-Brexit most or all of those Med cutter-appropriate activities will disappear but we still need more for our UK waters and to me cutters seem a better way to boost numbers than buying Clyde (which we don’t currently own).

    • It is a fair point. However I would argue that all Mediterranean nations should be sharing responsibility for policing the med. As a Mediterranean nation ourselves (Cyprus, Gibraltar) then we should share some responsibility. Perhaps however we are doing more than our fair share and others should step up their efforts.

    • To be fair they are too big for that role. Perhaps as a mothership to RIBs etc.

      We need a range of vessels from 30m to 50m.

      The RN needs a class of 1000 tonners with 25kts too.

  4. Seems perfectly sensible, Clyde is a unique sub class of one. Once the B2 River are fully worked up we can also dispose of the B1 as well.

    A single class of B2 is the best way forward rather than multiple sub classes.

    • I think the R1’s will be sold off as soon as thee T31’s start coming into service, the current T23 refits are taking them out of action for at least year so there is a severe lack of ships if we the government is expecting to base them in the Caribbean, Falklands, Med and Bahrain. On top of any Nato exercises etc.

      • That makes sense to me. With the T23, T45 refits and the delayed service entry for R2 retaining the three standard R3 is sensible albeit I do have some question marks over crewing for the MCRN force.

        Clyde is a unique vessel so selling her on makes perfect sense.

    • The only real difference between Clyde and the others is a few feet in length and flight.

      The question is, why weren’t the whole class built to the Clyde design from the get go?

      • Because Clyde came after the initial River Batch 1, a helicopter deck was not deemed necessary for the R1 in their intended role.

        • The flight deck option was all part of the design package, it wasn’t an add on, we could have had it

          And it is hard to argue that it was not deemed necessary considering one of the drivers for the Castle class was a large flight deck because of the importance of the helicopter in coastal and off shore waters both for SAR and supporting the oil/gas industry. The latter was coming on line just as the Islands were being introduced into the service and the lack of fligh deck whilst not a major flaw was problematic. Considering the helicopter is still with us we have to ask then why the Rivers didn’t have from the start. The B2 Rivers are all part of the same class / design package. Do you think the RN will use the flight deck on them? Not deemed necessary for their intended role? Good grief.

          • If the flight deck was deemed necessary for R1 then they would have been ordered with that feature. Personally I think they should have had flight decks but that doesn’t change the procurement decision at the time.

  5. the border force cutters are ideal for UK waters, however struggling for the longer duration med activity, simply too small for the bluey green water deployments.

  6. ..”Major rectification likely to take more than three months(from June). We are now near six months down the line and still no sign of the Forth! Should not that have read”….likely to take more than 6 months?”

  7. We should have kept this ourselves, we don’t have enough O.P.V.s for a country with our coastline length, Italy, Spain and France, countries with much smaller coastlines all have more O.P.V.s than us. At the very least we need to build more batch 2s.

    • The UK does have more than just the current river class OPV’s though.
      The RN has 16 archer patrol boasts which can be armed with a 20mm cannon if necessary. They are mostly used for training but can still be used for patrol duties.

      The UK boarder force also operates 9 vessels, so overall we definitely have plenty of boats available.

      The UK does not have to police the Mediterranean to the same extent that the countries you mentioned do, the English channel is not comparable at all.

      • Just to add to that on a slightly different note.

        – The SFPA operates three large vessels, two of which are in order of 2,200 tonnes.
        – The IFCA also operate numerous vessels in English waters
        – The Welsh government is also bringing in new vessels, some of which commissioned earlier this year.
        – Northern Ireland operates at least two, whilst the Isle of Man also operates a fisheries patrol vessel.
        – The Royal Marines are equipped with three Island-class patrol vessels.

        It would be nice to see the RN equipped with more patrol vessels, but I think we have the right balance at the moment. Under the current plans, we’ll have 26 dedicated patrol vessels in the RN, with an additional 27th hull in the form of HMS Protector.

        In my opinion, our current focus must be on rebuilding the Frigate fleet, bringing the carriers online and solving the manpower issues; though we might have to look at replacing the Archer class in the coming years.

        • IFCA cover is very patchy and they have their own job to do.

          We could throw in the Mod Plod too. But they have their own work.

          As do the Royals Marines up in Faslane.

          Marine Scotland’s vessels are off limits for these type of work.

          • So? They’re still patrolling the UK, still contributing something – however hard you or the Daily Mail brigade may try and dispute that.

            We have far more assets than contemporary discourses allude to. It’s time we utilised them fully.

      • The German federal state have 12 boats patrolling their coast (4 police, 8 custom cutters) and the individual states have their own ‘water police’ boats.

        The Belgians have 2 navy patrol boats, 3 police boats, and numerous customs boats (because of Antwerp).

        The French between Brest and the Belgian have 16 boats (Gendarme and customs) plus aeroplanes and helicopter and shore patrols.

        The new large RIB’s (with cabins) are a welcome addition but we are stilled under equipped.

        To put that into perspective the Irish customs service purchased their first boats about a decade back because of the increasing number of illegal landings. The source of these landings? The Netherlands.

  8. @ Fedaykin

    Yes because the MoD always make sound decisions when a few bob can be saved even if it means a much needed capability is lost.

    Not needed. Good grief.

  9. @ Lusty

    We don’t have half as many as we should have. Not suggesting we should replicate the Italians, Spanish, or Finns. But we are lacking,

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