Patrol ship HMS Spey paid her second visit to Malaysia in three months, say the Royal Navy here.

Having completed a month’s patrol of the Indian Ocean and her first visit to India and Sri Lanka, the Portsmouth-based warship headed for Penang – about 170 miles north of the Malay capital to work with the Royal Malaysia Navy and support the long-standing Five Powers Defence Arrangements.

“Established more than half a century ago against the backdrop of the ‘withdrawal from east of Suez’, the arrangements comprise a series of agreements between five Commonwealth nations – Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK – involving the defence and security of Southeast Asia.

The RN regularly takes part in exercises – typically the annual Bersama Lima workout – under the five-powers banner to ensure the military of the participating states can work together seamlessly and learn from one another. In addition, the UK maintains a permanent presence in Penang through its support to the Headquarters Integrated Area Defence System (HQIADS) which, among other duties, oversees those exercises.”

You can read more here.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

There was a very good post on Navy Lookout about the OPVs, with a few suggestions. It’s worth butchers!

1 × 30 mm DS30B gun 2 × general purpose machine guns 2 × miniguns (originally fit; retired as of 2023) 2 × Browning .50 caliber machine guns

Enhancing the Royal Navy’s batch II OPVs
https://

navylookout.com/enhancing-the-royal-navys-batch-ii-opvs/

Mark P
Mark P
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Yeah I remember reading this. I agree that the forward based OPV’S would benefit from a bit of an upgrade, especially the OPV plus options which is the lowest enhancement option. The fact that the River batch ones are due to the decommissioned in 2027/28 were I would guess that Tamar & Spey would more than like return home and fill their void making any enhancements a bit pointless. But I’m all ears to anyone else’s opinion

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So long as the potential upgrade wouldn’t be the price of an additional T31!
Even getting a 40mm, extendable hangar, with maybe a single 30mm atop, have to move the crane to one side, and some Martlet’s and a drone facility wouldn’t break the bank.

Smickers
Smickers
1 month ago

Little bit confused
Also in Navy Lookout photo wall is a short video of HMS Spey arriving in Brunei on 17th February
Brunei is a long way east from Penang

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Off topic but just read in our local of Australian government’s increase in the RAN fleet from 11 to 26 ships by late 2040 but this involves reducing the T26s from 9 to 6 and purchasing 7-11 GP frigates. I wonder with the former if there’ll be any compensation paid to BAE and if the T31/A140 might get a look in with the later requirement as at the moment Japan, Italy, Germany and Korea are only mentioned? And I would be curious to see if RNZN might also purchase 1-2 of the Anzacs off Australia in the interim or go… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*sorry, Spain, not Italy.

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Contenders for the general purpose frigates announced as: Meko A-200 Mogami 30FFM Daegu class FFX Batch II and III Navantia ALFA3000 Curious that they have specifically ruled out a UK ship design like the T31. So much for AUKUS. Although, given the government has announced that some of the GP frigates will be built overseas which suggests that they re looking for a (relatively) rapid acquisition, the choice of ship design may come down to shipyard capacity with UK shipyards already committed to T31 production for the RN. The reduction in the Hunter Class (T26) comes as no surprise really… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

My speculation for front runner would be the Navantia ship, in part because of Australia’s current Navantia platforms in the RAN fleet (Canberra, Hobart and Supply class). The Alpha 3000 (109.6 metres in length, 15.35 metres beam and a displacement up to 3,600 tons – comparable to the ANZAC Class) is an Australianised version of the proven design built for Saudi-Arabia as the Avante class. It has 16 configurable VLS-cells, four quadruple antiship-missile-launchers (presumably NSM), a 57 mm main gun, two triple torpedo launchers, a 30 mm CIWS (Rheinmettall Millennium gun), RWS and dual decoy launchers. It features a version of CEA’s CEAFAR phased… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

My speculation for front runner would be the Navantia ship, in part because of Australia’s current Navantia platforms in the RAN fleet (Canberra, Hobart and Supply class). The Alpha 3000 (109.6 metres in length, 15.35 metres beam and a displacement up to 3,600 tons – comparable to the ANZAC Class) is an Australianised version of the proven Avante class design built for Saudi Arabia. It has 16 configurable VLS-cells, four quadruple antiship-missile-launchers (presumably NSM), a 57 mm main gun, two triple torpedo launchers, a 30 mm CIWS (Rheinmettall Millennium gun), RWS and dual decoy launchers. It features a version of the… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Highly unlikely that any of the RAN’s ANZAC class frigates will see service with the RNZN. The review has announced the immediate retirement of the oldest in the class HMAS ANZAC which will reduce the number of frigates available for tasking to seven with only 6 of those (presumably the newest hulls) receiving their final upgrades. Any new build GP frigates to replace the ANAC class are likely to be (optimistically) at least 5 years before they are in service and by then the remaining ANZAC hulls will be virtually time expired. In any case they would be orphans in… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

What is really interesting, both because of its potential for a new style of naval CONOPS but also suspect for its lack of detail, is the announcement of 6 large ‘optionally crewed’ missile equipped ships – presumably at least corvette or frigate size to have a meaningful missile loadout. Somewhat paradoxically the announcement says that they will initially be crewed. This could be problematic given recruitment and retention issues for a now expanded surface fleet not to mention SSNs. Suggestions in some sources that be acquired from the US although there doesn’t seem to be an existing (known) program for… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

I can understand uncrewed small boats…minehunters etc, and loyal wingman and so forth, but an entire frigate? You would presumably still need a “crew” somewhere to do…stuff..remotely and the smallest malfunction would kill the entire mission.
Very small crews, ok, but everyone of them would need to be a specialist or it would not be worth having them on the vessel.
Would a missile truck have any use outside a full blown conflict? AA

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Probably no surprise that Australia has followed the RN to adopt a ‘two tier’ fleet with the USN following a similar pattern with the reintroduction of smaller frigates (Constellation Class) to its fleet. Also interesting compare to see how the RN and RAN surface combatant fleet numbers will compare: RN Tier 1: 6 T45 + 8 T26 RN Tier 2: 5 T32 RN Total: 19 surface combatants RAN Tier 1: 3 Hobart + 6 Hunter (T26) RAN Tier 2: 7 to 11 GP Frigates RAN Total:16 – 20 surface combatants Add in the 6 x ‘optionally crewed’ (assuming they are… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

Afternoon OZ, thanks for your very detailed replies. You did leave off 5x T31 but same same if 5x T32 doesn’t eventuate. Plus there might be a 4x MCM with reduced or optional crew purchase coming. But yes, the RAN is definitely muscling up with all the China pressures in our back yard. We’ll have to wait and see if there is any further fallout over the T26 reduction. Maybe having 6 upgraded T26 might contribute to lessening this. Good to hear the Hobart’s are also getting an upgrade. I’m not sure if there’s much room to put in extra… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

Apologies – missed the 5 T31s assuming the 5 T32s proceed.

In any case there is a fair bit of speculation here about both fleets final orbats and given the uncertainties and untrustworthiness of government announcements may not be worth much more than the glossy paper they are written on!

We live in interesting times.

TR
TR
1 month ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

Indeed I’m pretty sure the T32 won’t eventuate, the first time anyone heard of them was when Boris Johnson was talking about how much his government had invested in defence and I think he was meant to say T31 but classically messed it up. The government then couldn’t announce that he was celebrating something that didn’t exist so they invented the class with the idea of cancelling it later, people have kept the idea going but there’s still a dearth of information on what the class will actually be…all of which to me makes me think it will disappear.

TR
TR
1 month ago

OPVs doing the job of warships is embarrassing. Why are we sending OPVs to exercises when we don’t have crews for proper warships. What on earth is anyone going to learn from seamlessly working together with something only armed with a 30mm cannon?

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  TR

Because we’re critically & shamefully short of escorts 19 was too few & with the gap in production/delivery, River batch 2’s was a means of keeping the shipbuilders going. Since then, escort numbers has dropped to c14 now & 13 later this year, until the first new build arrives in 2027/8.
Also handing RN recruitment to a private company has been an utter disaster, hence manning numbers being insufficient, but it’s made the company loads of money for messing upa vital defence service.