HMS Medway has been commissioned at a ceremony in Chatham Dockyard.

Commander Ben Power said:

“I’m honoured and proud to stand here before you today. Getting Medway to this point has taken huge effort and it’s been incredibly rewarding.”

Medway is the second of five Batch 2 River Class vessels ordered for the Royal Navy, she arrived in Portsmouth on the 17th of June 2019.

The Royal Navy say that these ships are designed to carry out maritime security roles in Home waters or globally including; anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrols, counter-terrorism and counter-piracy.

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andy reeves
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andy reeves

another piece of pointless junk, i wonder if they used the glue again?, i’d like to see the R.N rivers fitted out with a set up like the thais have done with their batch 2 type river i.e fitted a 76mm oto melara gun and two 30mm oerlikons fitted behind the bridge wings ideal positions for a martlet type upgrade.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Surely not Andy!

I have read links provided here to the USN thinking of dispersal and more smaller vessels rather than a few huge ones.

In my opinion T31, River B2, Corvette types, and other smaller autonomous vessels are sorely needed. We cannot afford / HMG wont pay / for an all high end T26/45 fleet, so having smaller vessels to complement the first line ones gives the RN more hulls.

I’m happy to see any RN vessel given a better weapons fit but lets spend the money on more T31 first.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

indubitably dear dannio. fitting martlet to those 30mm will give it teeth.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

most navy’s include corvettes and the like in their main frontline fleet inventory to do the thai weapon upgrade and designate them as corvettes would in the eyes of the world give the R.N two batch 2 river class corvettes and a frontline fleet of 21 warships, or if the 4 batch 1 ships then the R.N WOULD BE 5 SHIPS LARGER what’s more these ships are ALREADY BUILT. so maybe, just maybe, the fleet could be 6 ships bigger quickly. 13 frigates, plus type 26 and 31 frigates to come 6 destroyers,6 corvettes two supercarriers. two big amphibious ships.… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

not the best picture but you can seed the weapon configuration for the thai navy river class ship, note the 76mm oto melara main gun and the not so easy to see 30mm gun fitted either side just ahead of the funnel and behind the ibridge wings ,

andy reeves
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andy reeves

our batch 2 rivers should be like the thai navy upgraded river should look like this with 76mm oto melara and twin 30mm cannon aft of the bridge next to funnel where the thais hope to fit martletcomment image

andy reeves
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andy reeves

our batch 2 rivers configured by thais with, 76mm oto melara two 30mm cannon with future plans for martlet on themcomment image

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

I think to quantify them as junk is rather excessive (glued bolt heads non-withstanding). These are perfect for pottering around home waters, intercepting unarmed illegal migration/smuggling crafts, and policing exclusive economic areas further afield including fisheries etc. One of those RHIB’s pictured, lowered into the water with 4-6 Highly trained Commandos bearing down on a lightly armed pirate dhow, followed up with the Rivers 30mm also being trained on them is plenty to scare the shite out of any would be pirate. That’s without a helo involved. Ignoring the price (as we all know the reasons behind that), these are… Read more »

Cam
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Cam

They shouldn’t be sold off! We need far cheaper to run ships for constabulary duties and drug smuggling! A dam expensive type 45 is being used for drug smuggling or was! Fair enough they got the biggest ever haul of heroine but a river batch 2 could have done the same, not sure how critical a helicopter was though, and wouldn’t a large chopper drone fit perfect on the rivers helipad that would be a worthwhile expenditure in my opinion. A 30mm, Miniguns and gpmgs And two ribs with armed commandos is fine for whet they will be used for… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

So you’d not sell off 5 B2’s early if that allowed replacements with T31 hulls assuming they choose the T31 to replace MCM ships and bring down the cost per unit?

Cam
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Cam

I wouldn’t, we need rivers2 for light duties abroad that expensive frigates and destroyers shouldn’t be doing, I would like the government to spend what needs to be spent on our navy/ millitary we don’t need to cut ships to get other ships, we should follow on with 5 more type 31s if they’ll come in at almost a quarter of type 26 cost, we’ve lost half our destroyers and a third of our frigates in recent times never mind all the mine hunters and submarines ect, and all the RFA vessels, half our fast jets almost half our helicopters,… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

one of the key benefits that these ships offer is the option for forward basing, having said that, they would need to be fitted out in a manner where they could perform at least a good number of the tasks usually allocated to say, a frigate or corvette. i’d like to see them in the thai configuration with a 76mm gun. two additional 30mm cannon with martlet upgrades. and maybe a retractable hanger for say a small eurocopter.with the basic anti submarine and anti piracy fit.(a suitable say,20mm gun)

andy reeves
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andy reeves

another point people on this site miss, is the size of a batch 2 river, i had the pleasure of walking past forth alongside in portsmouth i was amazed by how substantial vessels these ships are, for a ship of this size it’s hard to accept that it is a patrol ship and not a warship, the flexibility,possibilities, profile and abilities open to ships of this size, are great and should not be underestimated.as corvettes they would give off the aura of a frigate(without the whizzbangs

andy reeves
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andy reeves

all R.N SHIPS SHOULD BE RETIRED ON A STRICT 1 FOR 1 BASIS

andy reeves
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andy reeves

its the shedful of archers that should be performing a service of a british naval ship otherwise just hand them over to the border service.

John Clark
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John Clark

I’m rather split on the issue of up arming the River2’s….

I can see arguments for and against, the lack of
a true organic helicopter capability was a mistake.

They have the displacement for a hanger and it would have given the option of up gunning the batch 2’s to Corvette status if needed in the future.

It’s hard to push an up gunned River 2 into the fray against a dangerous opposition without a Wildcat, toting Sea Venom and Martlet, capable of holding an adversary at arms length, it’s certainly a limiting factor in the types usefulness at least.

Andy P
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Andy P

I’m not for trying to turn an OPV into a corvette, the Rivers weren’t built as warships. The debate has been done to death on here (and I’ve only been on here a short time) so kind of pointless. I agree that full hanger facilities would have made it more versatile for longer deployments.

John Clark
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John Clark

Sort of the point Andy, the lack of organic helicopter capability limits the ships usefulness, a Wildcat and hanger, plus moderate uplift in weapons fit, would make the Rivers useful for the current Iranian operations.

Deciding against a hanger was a short sighted move….

spyintheskyuk
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spyintheskyuk

An interesting defence of the River Batch 2 design decisions in the article below. I am not qualified to judge the veracity of them but others might be though the hanger debate was quite interesting in it. I note also that Bae at DSEI were discussing the possibilities of upgrading (no doubt with exports in mind) the weapon fit including main gun and various missile fitments through flexible palletisation.

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2016/06/thoughts-batch-2-river-class/

Andy P
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Andy P

Even if they had a 57/75mm I’m not sure they’d be Warships, they do provide a presence though. I’m not dead set against a bigger weapons fit, I just don’t see the point for their intended role. Full hanger facilities on the other hand…

That would be useful for Guardship roles, useful in the North Sea for oil & gas related roles (weather permitting) and just generally deploying a helo further from home, the helo could conceivably extend the weapons fit if that’s needed I suppose.

Cam
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Cam

What about a telescopic hangar that covers the deck when the choppers landed.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

useful for iranian situations? we should have a couple of highly trained suitably equipped and trained squadrons of archers( planned for but not with a 20mm gun to do that these squadrons could be used as an update for the gibraltar squadron, then poor old sabre and scimitar can have the retirement they’ve earned

Andy P
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Andy P

Has it been confirmed that the 31’s will have the 57mm ??? I’ve read comments on here but that’s it. Not looking for a fight, just curious if its been announced.

Mike O
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Mike O

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/more-details-of-the-royal-navys-type-31-frigate-emerge/

They are usually a pretty good source of info but I have not seen official confirmation.

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

As Mike says, that is what has been suggested on STRN site. The 57mm Bofors and the 2 x front and aft 40mm Bofors + 24 SeaCeptor mid ship is reported as being a reasonably accurate representation of what has been offered to the MOD… Read into that what you will – It may be that the 40mm end up being 30mm + Martlet to keep commonality with the rest of the fleet? Who knows…

John Clark
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John Clark

Andy, I think a 57mm has been decided, wouldn’t be my choice, I would have gone with a 5″ gun and 32 seaceptor.

They are entirely omitting effective NGFS with a 57mm.

Something that would have been absolutely core if I had been in charge of fitting out the T31.

While the mission bays, displacement and modular design are great aspects of the Arrowhead T31, 24 sea Ceptor and 57mm effectively means a downgrade in key capabilities, compared to the ‘GP’ type 23 they are replacing…

That’s a big mistake…..

Andy P
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Andy P

Thanks Mike, Rfn and John, Its a bit of a ‘giant leap’ to go without a big bangstick at the pointy end, assuming it happens. It would introduce a couple different weapon systems with the extra expense of training and stores. I’m with you John on the lack of NGS, its become quite a big part of what is expected from a FF/DD. While the size of the vessel would hopefully allow for future upgrades, at the moment it looks like its a heavily armed anti-swarm vessel that isn’t that great for that much else, I know they’re the cheap… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the pottering around picking up migrants is a task that the nation could finally see the oft forgotten archers can do. i think the R.N has missed an opportunity in not drilling these boats into highly trained squadron which would be highly useful in say gibraltar.

David Barry
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David Barry

Well, there are pros and cons.
1. Where does the money come from?
2. Ammo and training commonality
3. You’ve given the RN a ‘proper’ warship so less need for a T31

andy reeves
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andy reeves
Steve
Guest
Steve

I read a post that the RN / MOD is considering up arming one or more rivers to cover the gap between the current frigates going out of service and the t31s coming into service.

Anyone seen any more details on this?

BB85
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BB85

I read that too. I don’t see it happening though. They will just work the remaining T23 to death until the T31 is commissioned. I wouldn’t want to see a River 2 anywhere near Iran. They would need to upgrade the radar, CIWS, larger calibre main gun and some form of anti-ship missile/land attack option.

Steve
Guest
Steve

My guess they plan to sell the t23, so won’t work to total death.

It could be a masterpiece move, get budget to up arm the rivers to cover the gap and then say you still have 19 frigates because the rivers are opv. End up with 5 ships that could be used in hot zones like Iran, after all they won’t come across serious assets that upgrading the main wep and adding marlots to it couldn’t handle.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

upgrade the batch 2 armament, and forward base them at gibraltar and bahrain

andy reeves
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andy reeves

all of the above and call em cruisers p.s you forgot the torpedo launchers.!!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the thethai river derivative is fitted with two ds30 cannon placed just behind the bridge wings the thai s also plan to put martlet here, and are in negotiations to do so. there is also a 76mm oto melara main gun, this ship(krabi) is to be designated as a corvette or light frigate. goes without saying that the r.n batch 2 rivers should be fitted in this way and maybe used as a stop gap while the wait for t31 is going on.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

maybe as a stopgap waiting for the 31’s to come in, what roles they would be expected to perform is another issue.

NicNoc
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NicNoc

These B2s will add great flexibility in their planned roles. Three forward-based in the Falklands, Caribbean, Mediterranean. Two home-based for training / UK patrols, or to swap-in when others undergoing maintenance. Two RIBS, a container with UAV on one side and one of the new 11m Sea Class work boats (or a Logistics Corp support boat) on the other and these will be able to enforce, observe and assist respectively. Personally I think the work boat would add additional flexibility and provide a superior aid delivery / personnel recovery option to the RIBS. Great for aid missions if called upon… Read more »

BB85
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BB85

What annoys me the most about these ships is the inflated price we had to pay to maintain skills at the yard did not translate into a more capable vessel. At £125mm each (or whatever they cost) a full size hanger should have been included in the price.
Then they could have more easily been upgraded if the need arose. I would rather have received 4 Holland class OPV’s for the same money than 5 River 2.

Andy P
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Andy P

Its not just the short term costs though, Barrow struggled getting the right skillsets in when they started on the Astutes apparently and I got that from Management there. I’ve no idea if we paid too much for the Rivers but if we did, its maybe saving money and a production line in the long term.

Us scrotes don’t always know or see the big picture. Having said that…. mistakes have been made and I’m sure there will be plenty more. Then there’s political expedience to toss in the mix.

Its a bit of a pickle.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

the batch 2 river is a substantial sized ‘beastie which could and should be equipped to carry out tasks often reserved for larger vessels the latest river derivative the hm,thai ship like its sister it has been upgraded to carry a 76mm oto melara main gunan 2 extra 30mm canon aft of the bridge wings, the thais are indicating a wish for martlet to be fitted to the 30mm’s makin a ‘punchy corvette, as they are to be designated.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

neither did it inspire to produce the vessel in good time, the build rate on the clyde is a disgrace

Andy P
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Andy P

I’ll answer both your posts with one, makes things nice and simple. I know you’ve got a hard on for putting a 76 mil on the front end of a River, personally, for what they’re supposed to be doing I think its unnecessary but introducing (well reintroducing) a new weapon system would require a big support network, a training facility, a new set of stores and they manpower time spent training on the new system, it all adds up to a fair bit of cash for what is essentially a Constabulary vessel. As for your view on ‘Clyde built’, I… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

could the retired trafalgars,swiftsure submarines have al the nuclear bits n bobs removed, and as long as they are seaworthy, recommissioned as conventionally powered submarines?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG FOR THE CLYDE TO PRODUCE A WARSHIP?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

IS THIS TRUhttps://www.joc.com/maritime-news/upside-down-submarine-section-embarrassing_19880410.htmlE?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves
andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

food for thought, uses in modern defence applications, cheaper than steel and kevlarhttps://www.inc.com/magazine/201110/innovation-a-cheaper-alternative-to-kevlar.html

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

Should have a 76mm and 40 mm guns, and a ASW mortar at least.