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.
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.