The Falkland Islands have welcomed the arrival of new patrol vessel HMS Forth.

British Forces South Atlantic Islands say that the ship has taken over the mission from HMS Clyde, which has offered protection to the Falklands and nearby South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands for the past 12 years.

The long-term deployment of HMS Forth will see the ship act as the guardian and patrol vessel for the Falkland Islands and Britain’s South Atlantic territories.

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HMS Forth in the Falklands.

The Royal Navy say that it will be a number of years before the vessel herself returns, while her crews will rotate between the UK and South Atlantic.

HMS Forth is a Batch 2 River class Offshore Patrol Vessel and is fundamentally different in appearance and capabilities from the preceding Batch 1.

Notable differences include the longer 90.5 metres long hull, a higher top speed of 24 knots, a Merlin-capable flight deck, a greater displacement of around 2,000 tonnes and greatly expanded capacity for accommodating personnel.

The Batch 2 ships therefore arguably represent a distinctly separate class to the preceding Batch 1 in everything but name.

HMS Forth also recently monitored the Russian warship ‘Vasily Bykov’ through the English Channel and Dover Strait.

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Rob
Rob
8 months ago

What a wasted opportunity to increase the fleet. These ships are nearly 2000 tons. They should be light frigates. Add a hanger, a 76mm Gun and some anti-aircraft point defence and they would be proper warships. Instead we have a, yes good, glorified fishery protection vessel.

Anyway good luck to the ship’s company…

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I thought the general consensus from reading the many knowledgeable comments on here is that if you did that the treasury is going to say why spend a billion on a ship if you can build these warships for £150 million.

Andy P
Andy P
8 months ago
Reply to  James

Its not just that James, they ARE the “glorified fishery protection vessels” that Rob is talking about. They’re not warships, they’re a presence, if in this instance with the Falklands if we had a type 23/26/31 down there it would require more maintenance, there would be a bigger crew, a larger asset sat doing hee haw. If the Argentinians had their heart set on recapturing the ‘Malvinas’ they could attack without warning and have a good chance of sinking whatever vessel we had there. Its a symbol to say we give a crap and a “glorified fishery protection vessel” does… Read more »

BB85
BB85
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

They are great ships for what they will do, I think everyone’s main gripe is that they where too expensive for what they do and we had no need for them in the first place. The River Batch 1 and 1.5’s where more than capable of providing the same role for another 15 years and we should have started building T26 a lot sooner in more numbers.

Ian
Ian
8 months ago
Reply to  BB85

The opinion on here seems to be Batch 2 are an expensive stop gap
Why did the MOD not just start building the Type 26

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian

because it took early 15 years to decide what they were going to be fitted with,

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
8 months ago
Reply to  BB85

I think the River batch 2 vessels will prove very useful alongside the retained batch 1 vessels in protecting, monitoring and guarding the UK EEZ. Especially post Brexit. Prior to the River batch 2s being built the UK had and still does have one of the smallest fishery protection and patrol vessel fleets in the world, especially considering our huge maritime EEZ.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

pity we’ve nothing to patrol for all the Russian submarines i our waters

Andy P
Andy P
8 months ago
Reply to  BB85

I agree that we’re not getting a lot of ‘bang’ for our buck as it were, they were the stop gap to keep the ship building competence going. We could toss ‘why’ back and forth (geddit) but its done. In traditional fashion, the reaction to the gap in submarine building in Barrow and the problems it caused has maybe led to the expensive ‘stop gap’ platforms that we’ve now got. The next time there’s a gap in production they might try something else, who knows.

Jon
Jon
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think next time there’s a gap in the production they should build five more of the same, except this time with increased ELINT from the get go. Adding UAVs like the RQ-21 or a Camcopter can hugely increase area surveilled and S&R effectiveness. How many countries have any blue-water capable patrol ships? We should make the most of it. The Rivers aren’t a full-on warship, but they are a presence, which means they can conduct joint operations with smaller countries that only have constabulary navies. That builds up relationships and increases soft power, even without the disaster relief portfolio.… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

the whole building schedule at the clyde yARDS IS A DISGRACE, HE CONTRACTS TO BUILD TO THE OTHER NATIONS THE ONLY BUILT IN THE U.K WARSHIP BUILDING POLICY IS OUTDATED AND FISCALLY INEPT.

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Good Morning Andy. I think the chances of the Argentinians attacking without warning are about as close to zero as one can get! They don’t have any asset capable of launching an attack and even if they put their mind to rebuilding their Navy, it would take years and give plenty warning of possible future mischief. Any Navy/Government that allows its ships to roll over and sink whilst tied up in port hasn’t a hope in hell of mustering the necessary-I refer to their ex RN Type 42 that went down due to a lack of the most basic of… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Agree Argentina are incapable of retaking the islands currently and not capable of anything other than embarrassing harassment raids of short duration and annoyance only really offering political embarrassment but little to no practical outcome. Any attempt to land or occupy territory will be swiftly rebuffed. Now HMS QE and HMS POW are around the opportunity of retaking the islands has gone for at least the next 50 years. It would take a major world power to overcome a task force composed of either of those vessels, alongside type 45s, type 23,26,31s and astute/ Trafalgar class subs. Although I would… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Agreed, not something that we need to be concerned about anytime soon. The B2 River has a perfectly acceptable fitout for the tasks it needs to carry out, much as it’d be cool for it to have more kit. I see it as a sort of USCG cutter, which I think has a similar loadout. Particularly in the South Atlantic, being able to support emergency operations, ship rescues, the Antarctic stations etc. makes the B2 a good choice. Containerised mission systems that could be airlifted by A400/C17 and dropped on the back deck / mission bay of Rivers, T31s, Bays,… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Howsit Joe! A Bunny Chow plays hell with my Ulcer but I can manage some grated Biltong and a Castle Light 🙂

Joe16
Joe16
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Ah, well take it easy then, don’t do yourself damage. Biltong and a brew is certainly a worthy replacement. Enjoy and give the ulcer a chance to sort itself!

Ian
Ian
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Cold Castles are very relaxing 👍

Andy P
Andy P
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Totally agree Geoff that its very unlikely that Argentina are capable of anything more than a strongly worded letter at the moment. Even if they were more capable and started building up a fleet/air force then unless we matched it or bettered it then that would tie up a lot of vessels on the off chance they decided to go for it. We have a ‘gun boat’ down there to say that its ‘ours’, or at least the islanders want to stay British. We can always reinforce as and when required. I can understand why some want the Rivers to… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

a grimsby fishing boat, painted grey, given a shotgun,a number to paint on the side could done the job just as well. and a lot cheaper.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  James

these are NOT WARSHIPS, THEY ARE FOR CHECKING MANUELS fishing boats net sizes i’d have done it myself in my little tub for free, if the M.O.D would ‘stump up the money for a new engine for it.!

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  andy reeves

looking at the sizes of the poor little fishes caught in their species destroying trawls

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  James

same applies to .8 for one over hyped,overpriced, a disgrace in production time, slow, not one has yet to reach the designers speed expectations, they are leaking, mainly around the t torpedo doors, prematurely rusting, considered ‘jinxed and unpopular with the crews, who fear for their safety.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  andy reeves

I’M TALKING ABOUT THE ASTUTE.

4thwatch
4thwatch
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Agreed. Upgrade to full corvettes asap and then order 5 more.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  4thwatch

DO WHAT THE THAIS HAVE DONE WITH THEIR VERSION OF A BATCH 2 RIVER krabi, FIT A 76 MM GUN, TWO EXTRA 30MM CANNON AFT OF THE BRIDGE WINGS, THE THAI NAVY BOW PLAN TO FIT HARPOON! AND MARTLET TO THOSE EXTRA 30 MM’S KEVLAR PER METRE IS AT THE MOMENT, CHEAPER THAN STEEL SO, IMPROVING SURVIVAL SPECS COULD EASILY BE DONE. THE THAIS ALSO PLAN TO DESIGNATE THEM AS FRIGATES.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  andy reeves

sorry for he caps my laptop is Chinese and therefor crappy.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  4thwatch

it would be cheaper and quicker to do than build a frigate from scrap. most nations include corvettes as ‘front line ships in their fleet numbers 5 more rivers/corvettes, increasing the front line of the R.N would give us a far healthier number of 20+ ships.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  andy reeves

and you’d get it sooner

Andy Hart
Andy Hart
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Given the diplomatic situation surrounding the Falkland Islands, and the agreements between several South American and African nations to keep the South Atlantic as free of military build-up as reasonably possible, it would be provocative of us to assign an (obviously) ‘proper warship’ to Patrol Duties in the Falklands. HMS Forth, and it’s predecessor HMS Clyde, make the point that needs to be made, that the Falkland Islands are UK territory, without stirring up a hornets nest of diplomatic wrangling. They are quite capable for the job in hand, and will soon let us know if further assets are needed.… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
8 months ago

Good to see she arrived safely. It should be noted that HMS Scott and HMS Protector are also in the region.

Also of interest and relevant to the forward basing school of thought is the news that Medway will relieve Mounts Bay later in the year.

Carl Johns
Carl Johns
8 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

HMS Protector is in Plymouth….

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Johns

best place for it h.m.s?

Lusty
Lusty
8 months ago
Reply to  Carl Johns

Is your . key stuck?

But so she is, my bad.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

crappy old windows 7 laptop

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Good news Lusty.

That I feel is the true usefulness of these vessels often ignored amongst the up arming talk. Forward presence, saving our Frigates from the job.

1 Falklands,1 Caribbean, 1 Med, 1 Gulf.

Stick SIGINT, and a mini UAV on them and they are very useful indeed.

I also understand the up arming desire but it really is not necessary.

Lusty
Lusty
8 months ago

Agree, I’ve long argued for a Gib forward based vessel for wider Med duties.

I’ve heard rumours of some B2’s going to the Far East. HMS Enterprise is silently currently on deployment there, maybe acquiring a ‘feel’ for things?

Lusty
Lusty
8 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Forgot to add: HMS Severn is to recommission this year.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

anyone care?

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 months ago

horrible waste of a ‘crappy’ ship if the nation had any brains it would ‘beef up the whole area defence a fishing boat is pointless when it can’t do a job. i’m more sorry for the crew that will spend so long in such a godawful pimple on the global map