HMS Clyde was expected to be taken over by Brazil once the Royal Navy lease expired however this transaction was declined by the Brazilian navy and instead HMS Clyde is now part of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force.

HMS Clyde is now RBNS Al Zubara.

HMS Clyde is the fourth vessel of the River class, with a displacement of 2,000 tonnes and was decommissioned on the 20th of December 2019 at HMNB Portsmouth and was returned to her owners at BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships, although HMS Clyde remained under lease from BAE Systems to the Royal Navy until the end of March 2020.

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

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

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Gavin Gordon

Should become a familiar sight to RN NSF. Interesting to see if Bahrain upgrade it at all.

Max Jones

They will probably stick some anti-ship missiles on it and call it a corvette. Not really the intended role but it probably won’t matter.

Cam

It’s almost Guaranteed she will have a new weapons outfit and systems upgrade.

Bill

Who cares? Another useful asset given away. Deja vu.

Simon Cooke

It was never owned by Royal Navy just leasef.

Bill

A bit of a pedantic point Simon.

Mark

Not really, it wasnt the UK Government’s property, at best they could have just continued the rental of it, but with the other Rivers why? Does the RN have spare crews for it?

Bill

Exactly. Just renew the lease. We’re going to need all the PV’s we can retain/build. It’s hardly crewing the QE.

Mark

The RN ha entire ships laid up due to lack of manpower not so long ago, all that solved?

Meirion X

HMS Monmouth is laid up still!
Not sure is She waiting for, or will get LIFFX, maybe GB knows?
Her Sea Wolf is due out of service at end of this year.

Paul T

Type 45’s are a bit scarce at the moment due to PIP, deployments and routine maintenance and refit work.

Sean Crowley

Funny in Australia our OPV’s are getting Bigger and more numerous and no Government here would dare dream of selling one off . Australian Customs lie in bed at night unable to sleep as they’re fleet is mercilessly ravaged by the Navy telling the Government more for them means less of you know what . Oh and the RAN might as well be called the BPF as it is you people from the UK who crew it .

Gunbuster

I have noticed a lot of Brits on the ANZACs when they come in a visiting . I even know a few of them! Unfortunately COVID restrictions have put a dampener on call rounds and DTS’s

Rob Young

Note ‘leased’ – not ‘our’ ship, it was owned by BAE and the lease expired! Also, this one at least has a replacement.

Meirion X

Agreed!

Jack

“TopBoy” The three batch 1 Rivers have been regenerated and have rejoined the fleet.
In addition the navy is getting a further 5 batch 2 River class most of which are already serving in various locations. This is a plus for the RN in terms of the OPV’s.
Didn’t you know this ?

Jack

The 3 Batch 1 River class have been regenerated and are now back in the fleet. The RN is taking delivery of a further 5 Batch 2 River class ships which are already serving for the most part.
It’s been a positive for the OPV fleet in recent years.

Jack

Do you get paid to say these things ??

Herodotus

First serious effort in up-arming her is the entertainments pavilion on the recreation deck…errr helideck. I say, anyone for Pimms?

David

…and there was I, thinking it was a gulf-style folding hangar…..

Ian

Hi Gunbuster…Is this work being done in UK….. do you know…..?

Herodotus

Hmmmm…not sure that we still have the art of fitting guns to ships anymore. If they ‘stick’ some on in Pompey, look out for a local run on superglue 🙂

Gavin Gordon

BAE Systems? Bofors?

Gunbuster

Won’t be BAe
.Leonardo have just updated all the other BDF vessels with new radar, trackers command systems and optical systems so they may be favourite.

Steve

Going to be interesting to see how they arm it, to see what the potential for the batch2 is (i know they are a bigger than Clyde but gives an idea)

Gunbuster

the sanitising work is in UK
The rest of it in BHR.

Paul.P

A crisp conclusion to the RN OPV project. From Clyde plus 3 River 1s to 5 global River 2s and 3 refitted R1s for UK waters. Nice work.
Looking at the current age and disparate nature of the inventory of the Bahrain navy I would say former HMS Clyde could be the sales prototype for run of several River 2s fitted out as a fleet of Royal Bahrain Naval Force corvettes and maybe a few Wildcats. Who knows?

Cam

We might even sell them our old batch ones…

Cam

Eventually

HF

The ultimate in privatisation – leasing a warship. Best keep up the payments or the baliffs will be round….

Paul.P

I think it works like ‘buying’ a house from a developer. You pay for a lease, then you pay ground rent and you pay to extend the diminutive lease on a depreciating asset. To paraphrase Full Metal Jacket , in the UK the (financial) wind doesn’t blow, it sucks.

Daniele Mandelli

Indeed. As you said, not Brazil.

Gavin Gordon

Thought you’d have a handle, G. It has the obvious potential as a win-win for both Bahrain and RN, with close cooperation. Another known OPV alongside our assets. Smart move.
Regards

TrevorH

Is there a reason why anyone should be surprised if it is not upgraded. It’s 2nd hand and cheap, so they will have some money to spare. And it’s basically a capital ship for them.

Gavin Gordon

They’ve more than I was aware of. Interesting to know the rationale for Clyde per se. Good on the old girl anyway; slightly less hull strain I’d think.

Gunbuster

Capital Ship?

They have an Ex USN OHP, couple of helo carrying Lurssen Corvettes and a shed load of FAC missle boats armed with M40 Exocet, and a mixture of 76 Oto and 40mm Breda guns. Add to that MKV SOC Boats, Landing Craft and other smaller Patrol Boats and its quite a potent force for a relatively small island.

TrevorH

I should always refrain from sarcasm, it serves me right.

Steve

I wonder why it was rejected by the Brazil navy.

Orcman

They bought 3x 90m “Amazonas Class” OPV’s in 2012-13, which are based on the batch 2’s.

Steve

The article seems to indicate the decision to pull out was more recent than 2013 though.

Orcman

Yes, from what I gather the 3 sold to Brazil were originally intended for the Trinidad & Tobago Coastguard. They (T&T) pulled out before delivery, and the vessels were quickly sold to Brazil, who at the time expressed an interest in “up to 5 more”. ex-HMS Clyde is a Batch 1 though, so smaller and older than the 3 Brazil already have. It most likely wouldn’t support the “package” that they have on their 3, and so would be a bit of a white elephant to them. And there is the point that Gunbuster makes – they have bought MEKO-100’s… Read more »

Gunbuster
Paul.P

Interesting. The graphic shows the Brazilian Meko 100 spec as carrying the BAE Artisan radar.

Paul.P

And Sea Ceptor

Steve

and costing less than £20m extra per ship over the batch2.

Just shows how badly the RN got messed over with the order. I get there was a contract to give so much work to BAe, but surely we could have optimised that money a lot better. If the money couldn’t have gone to weapons, because they wouldnt’ have been supplied by BAe it could have gone to a much bigger ship with a hanger and better room for upgrades.

Paul.P

Well, regarding the River 2 cost to quote the Bard, what’s done is done, and cannot be undone. BAE had neither the skills and facilities nor the design to build the Type 23 replacement. So what we have ended up with is a doubling of and capable OPV fleet and a destroyer sized FFBNW Type 31 patrol frigate from Babcock. Overall not a bad outcome. Good growth platforms with long legs. Since Brazil have bought 4 Mekos with Artisan and Sea Ceptor I assume that we will soon see 4 Type 23s being stripped of these; and sensors and engines… Read more »

Steve

Not really we ended up with marginally better than the river1 that are now being sold. What we should have done was keep the river1 and paid BAe to redesign the river2 to include a hanger and capability for silos and just brought 2, to avoid cut overrun.

Paul.P

Steve, I don’t think R2 is ‘marginally’ better than R1. It is a substantially larger vessel with longer endurance, has accommodation for 50 RM and medical facilities; it has a large cargo area/ flight deck, an armoured magazine; it can refuel and rearm a Wildcat and has a warship standard CMS and light but integrated armament for constabulary work and self defence against FIAC. It is really a new class of ship – with growth potential. Also, I assume that when the RN paid BAE to design R2 without a hangar but with a crane it made a conscious decision.… Read more »

Meirion X

You are Wrong, on the T23s being stripped of sensors for T31!
The T31 is having a new type of radar and new sensors. And new engines have been ordered for all T31s. The 23Ts,GPs, will be sold.

Paul.P

I meant the T23 are being stripped of their radars for the Brazilian Mekos😂

Meirion X

Only 2 T23(ASW)s will Not have had full LIFEX, No PGMU, they will be replaced by T26 from 2026/7. 6 T23(ASW)s are receiving full LIFEX with PGMU extending their life spans into the 2030s.
Those 2 are one’s most likely be stripped of equipment for later T26’s.

Meirion X

I forgot to name them, HMS Westminster and HMS Northumberland, to be replaced by first 2 T26s.

Paul.P

Yep, given the glacial build rate for T26 I am ok with the T23 Lifex program: it has to focus on the ASW ships to maintain that capability. It looks like the GP frigates will be replaced by T31 at a faster rate. Overall we will need 8 Artisan sets for the T26 which leaves 5 going spare. Keep one for spares say and sell 4 to Thyssen Krupp / Brazil for the Mekos?

Meirion X

If HMS Monmouth does not get LIFFX by end of this year, she could be stripped of equipment. Her Sea Wolf missile system is due OSD at end of this year.
Maybe GB knows will she get LIFFX?

Fedaykin

” BAE had neither the skills and facilities nor the design to build the Type 23 replacement. ”

Riiiiiighhttt….

So BAE Systems designing then building the Type 26 Frigate in their Clyde yard has totally passed you by Paul.P?

Paul.P

Hi F, that was then, this is now. I understood the received wisdom was that R2 was the vehicle for rebuilding lost skills etc.
By the way, I’m not a BAE sceptic. Fantastic engineering company….just not trusted by our faithless and indecisive government machine.

Fedaykin

“I understood the received wisdom was that R2 was the vehicle for rebuilding lost skills etc” From who? That is not even remotely the Reason for River Batch II being built. The issue was keeping BAE Systems Clyde busy under the terms of the TOBA signed between the company and UK Government. With the end of Type 45 production and the final super Blocks for the QE class being delivered the yard had nothing to do for several years until Type 26 started build. The TOBA required BAE Systems to paid to keep the yard open and rather than do… Read more »

Gavin Gordon

And same cell numbers as T31.

Julian

Given that the T31 is said to be getting a Thales radar (NS100 or maybe NS200 – do we know which yet?) that will leave the UK with a few spare Artisan that we thought were going to be cross-decked to T31 as our T23s were retired. I wonder whether timing might allow us to sell 4 of our unused Artisan to Brazil. And on that subject I am still really perplexed that if things don’t change the T31 might actually end up with a better radar than the T26. DaveyB has posted, if I remember & understood some of… Read more »

Paul.P

I’m not convinced NS100 is a better radar than Artisan especially for the presumably cluttered ‘estuary’ environment of the mouth of the Amazon. The Brazilians may have been prepared to pay a premium for Artisan. Maybe the simple explanation is that NS100 plus mast plus CMS integration is just cheaper, ensures that the Type 31 cost stays below £250m a pop and is all you need for a junk buster patrol frigate?

Daveyb

I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. The NS100 is developed from the Thales Smart-S and Sea Master 400 radars. It uses the transmitter-receiver modules that are based on new Smart-MM AESA radar (just uses less modules) and operates in the S band (old E/F). The NS100 has a published instrumented range of 280km (Thales have not specified what the target was though!) There are two key differences between Artisan and NS-100, the first is age and the second is the transmitter/receiver type. Artisan was a development from the Type 996 radar, itself a PESA system. It was fitted… Read more »

Paul.P

Davey, Lots of points there, technology and business. Regarding BAE business model it seems to me that shifted a while back FROM working an adversarial relationship with a UK government which has a constitutional aversion to both trusting engineers and the very concept of a national industrial strategy TO working with the US culture which respects technologist and engineers plus acquiring technology where appropriate. ( This is not dissimilar to the French national industrial strategy…). Regarding radars I am educating myself with the basics. I’m thinking that notwithstanding all the AESA multi-beam stuff Artisan might be as good or maybe… Read more »

Daveyb

Brazil have the late HMS Ocean, she was sold to them with Artisan, so they probably have a good feel for it. The majority of Brazil’s Navy is tasked with border patrols, so a radar that works in the littorals will be an advantage. Artisan has a good track record when working coastal and is probably cheaper to purchase than NS-100. However, it is still a PESA radar and therefore will still suffer significantly more clutter than an AESA system. The reason for this is twofold. One is the oscillator centre frequency and secondly the transmission beam width. PESA radar… Read more »

Paul.P

Very comprehensive. Thx.

Gunbuster

A big driver for the 996 replacement was the replacement radar must not add to T23 top weight. They managed that with a heavier radar but designed a lighter mast top access arrangement. For a T23 a modified Sampson would never have worked as a T45 Sampson mast head unit weighs in at around 9 tonnes. The signal processing used on Sampson did feed into 997 though. 997 also needed to be a navigation qualified and capable surface radar for amongst other things Gunnery safety which is something 996 struggled at. 997 Below decks equipment is a lot smaller and… Read more »

Paul.P

G; Thx for this background. So if I was a salesman for Artisan my unique selling points would be ‘proven pedigree’ and ‘Sampson signal processing’.

Glass Half Full

The question though is why should the govt. fund additional speculative development of BAES radar? The MoD already funded the development of Artisan and especially AESA Sampson so why couldn’t BAES build on that? Companies worldwide are using their own resources to develop a suite of radar solutions and then going out and actively selling them. How many foreign sales have BAES had for their radars over the last two decades, or their Combat Management System software as another example? Compare that to companies like SAAB, Thales, Hensoldt, Leonardo, Lockheed, and CEA, some of whom started with govt. funded programs… Read more »

Paul.P

Good post which speaks to the culture of patronage which historically characterises the UK government machine, whether it be house development, pharmaceuticals or ‘consulting’. If Serco and Group 4 of Accenture had made frigates I’m sure they would have got the contract on a nod. To their credit and probably great relief BAE have ditched dependence on the UK for the US where the culture is enabling rather than stultifying.

Meirion X

4 of the T23(GP)s have already had or in LIFEX, So it is highly likely they will be sold with most their equipment. Just look at it this way, why LIFEX them so near to OSD?

Paul.P

The Brazilians operate 2 ex Type 22, 5 ex Type 21s and 2 corvettes, one of which is quite old. It looks like they are planning a new fleet starting with the Mekos. Be interesting to see if lifexed GP Type 23s will figure in their plans.

Fedaykin

Brazil operate 0 Type 21.

Those that survived the Falklands war were sold to Pakistan.

Paul.P

Ok, I stand corrected. So what is their current order of battle?

Paul.P

Agree on UK radar skills. Post Brexit HM Gov needs to have an industrial strategy for developing and/or acquiring strategic industries / technologies. More like the way the French do these things.
I see rotating Sampson as being to flat face ASEAs what Betamax was to VHS….sadly marketing power usually wins out over elegant technology.

Meirion X

Maybe a non rotating
triangle ASEA panel could give full 360 degree view, each one giving 120d.

Daveyb

Correct, Without the mechanical rotating assemble and the addition of a third AESA panel, the ship should be able to cope with the additional top weight.

Paul.P

Hi M, I don’t know. I’m just mugging up on this PESA AESA thing and comparing the Artisan and NS100 published data sheets. Despite being ‘only’ a PESA radar Artisan seems to emphasise ‘situational awareness’ and claims to have ‘unrivalled’ decluttering performance in the littoral. It also seems to be a good deal lighter in weight than NS100 whose data sheet is a bit light on detail compared to the Artisan data sheet. AESA radars seem to offer more advantages in aerial combat rather than the naval context, though I note that even there the RAF are in no hurry… Read more »

Fedaykin

The sales brochures are going to play up the capabilities of ARTISAN/Type 997. It isn’t a bad system but the general prevailing view amongst those who understand the technology regard it as a cheap and cheerful system levering pretty old technology and there is better more modern stuff out there.

Unlike Type 26 which will use a large amount of Government Furnished Items stripped from Type 23 in its build the Type 31 will largely use systems and weapons that are new to the Royal Navy.

Paul T

If you look into Europe Radar Developement is not standing still – Thales and Leonardo introducing the Sea Fire and Kronos Systems respectively.

Paul.P

Ok. Thx. So in wider context like sunsetting the Mk8 4.5in gun in favour of a new 5in and the 57mm and the adoption of a new CMS for T31 it looks like we are moving to a OTS purchasing strategy which treats frigates as commodities….and cyber as the circus act where you put development money.

DaveyB

There will always be a need to develop hardware. The best example is within the radars themselves. The majority of high end military radars today will use Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) in components to make up amplifies, filters and oscillators. They can handle substantially more power than silicon based versions. It took a while to get right, but they are now only slightly more expensive to produce than the Silicon ones. However, as power levels increased even GaAs components struggled, what’s more of an issue is that higher frequencies they generate RF noise. This led to the development of Gallium Nitride… Read more »

Paul.P

Interesting survey of these semi-conductors. Thx

DaveyB

It doesn’t matter if its sea, land or air, an AESA radar will have significantly better capabilities than previous generations of radar. The comparison would be like comparing a Mk9 Spitfire with a F86 Sabre. The Spitfire was pretty good at its job as an interceptor, but not in the same league as the Sabre. If you look at both the T26 and the T31, both will only have one primary radar, Artisan and NS-100 respectively. This means that both radars have to do both volume searching of the air and when seeing a target, scan and track it. Both… Read more »

Paul.P

Thx. I get the changing frequencies / side lobe suppression / low probability of intercept points.
Regarding narrow beams and resolution of targets wouldn’t the PESA radar have an advantage in that all its transmitters are by definition in phase, especially the cells at the edges of the antenna. The beam it transmits would also be more powerful wouldn’t it, if all the transmitters are deployed to the same frequency? Also I seem to recall that angular resolving power varies as the distance across the transmitter / detector. Bigger telescopes / aerials are better.

DaveyB

Yes, the bigger the antenna square area, the bigger the gain (amplification), but also the more sensitive the antenna is to detecting fainter signals. Both the PESA and AESA uses electronic beam steering. To do this with PESA you use time delay circuits, which change the phase of the transmitted wave. So as the signal is transmitted you have the parts of the signal fed to the antenna elements at slightly different times, the summation changes the direction of the beam, by basically pushing the beam over. AESA is no different in this regard, it uses the same techniques to… Read more »

Paul.P

Davey, great info on the architecture and modules 👍. Thx. So in my simple mind I can see how if you have a flat panel radar it has to be ASEA simply to be able to scan horizontally. And as you say you will need at least 3 of them. But if your radar antenna rotates the old fashioned way ( not withstanding the side lobe suppression and frequency agility/ probability of detection advantages etc ) then the ability to scan electronically is something you only need if you are using the radar to communicate target information to a missile… Read more »

Daveyb

Not quite. As you’ve mentioned having a fixed antenna to electronically sweep the sky is great. A huge volume can be swept in less than a second. However, with the T45’s Sampson you are also rotating a pair of antenna mounted back to back at 30 rpm. This adds complications to the processing, as every degree of rotation including the beam or multiple beam angles must be taken into consideration. For an old mono-pulse doppler radar using a flat panel antenna the beam is perpendicular to the centre of the antenna, i.e. the same as the beam from a lighthouse.… Read more »

Paul.P

So is NS100 sort of half a Sampson?

Daveyb

In a manner of speaking. NS-100 is based on the Thales Seamaster 400 and is said to use the TRMs from the SMART-MM. The number of TRMs contained with the area of the antenna array determines a lot of the radar’s performance. The majority of manufacturers will give a figure like 500 etc. The actual number of TRMs are usually higher. The question of whether NS-100 is half a Sampson is no. Sampson is made by BAe and NS-100 by Thales. However the operating concepts are exactly the same and the NS-100 will benefit from using more up to date… Read more »

Meirion X

Is Typhoon’s Captor radar still only 120 degree field of view?

Daveyb

Which one, the Captor-M or the Captor-E? The Captor-M is a multi-mode pulse-doppler coherent radar that uses a flat planar antenna. The planar antenna is fitted to x and Y axis gimbal motors that can sweep the antenna very quickly. It has a pure look-up and look-down modes. This is where the antenna can be position to look up at an angle of 60 degrees and visa versa. The antenna can also be made to sweep in these positions, i.e. look left and right. In the horizontal mode the antenna can sweep left to right to +/- 80 degrees to… Read more »

john melling

MEKO aka built by the group inc Atlas Elektronik who offered a Ship design for T31e and lost out!!

The MEKO actually looks good

john melling

And its got a decent weaponry