The Royal Navy say that HMS Forth has undertaken her first patrol around the Falkland Islands.

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.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“After a 9,000-mile journey from Portsmouth, the 2,000-tonne patrol ship arrived in the South Atlantic islands ready to take on duties after HMS Clyde retired just before Christmas.

Her successor is the first of five second-generation River-class ships built with the goal of stationing them long-term around the globe, protecting UK interests/citizens, working will regional allies and flying the flag for Britain.”

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.

“Arrival at East Cove was met with excitement for those who had never operated in the environment before,” said Commander Laverty in a release.

“And it was met with enthusiasm by all the ship’s company who were looking forward to making an impact in an operational theatre, as well as taking advantage of the fantastic adventurous training, wildlife and rich history the Falkland Islands have to offer. For me, it’s fantastic to be back and the presence of HMS Forth signifies both posture and the continuous UK commitment to the Falklands.”

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Interesting, the statement implies all 5 of the River 2’s are going to be forward deployed globally. Always knew about Forth going to the Falkands, wonder where the rest will be posted to… 🤔


One will replace Mounts Bay in the Caribbean. Wouldn’t be surprised if one goes to Gibraltar. I doubt all will be stationed overseas.

Daniele Mandelli

Caribbean, Med, Gulf, Far East at a guess.

This has been hinted at for some time, back to the 1SL’s speach at Gallipoli.

And I myself am all for it.


HMS Medway is to be deployed to Caribbean later this year. Stated in the news of Royal Navy official web-site.


As long as they are better armed.


I guess, Caribbean and Med do not need such armaments? War-fighting is for “real warships” = escorts, not for OPVs. And there are plenty of jobs for OPVs in the two regions. Persian Gulf, I am not that confident. As even an RFA vessels (Bays and Tides, Waves) are up-armed with 2 CIWS each, not surprised if River B2 OPVs are required to be up-gunned as such (say, replacing the aft-crane with a CIWS). However, it looks very unlikely to happen, as River B2 OPVs has no pre-wired assets onboard for CIWS. Far east is possible, I think. First of… Read more »


Lets see. I’ve a feeling that at 2019 DSEI the 1st SL mentioned something about up-gunning the B2s.

Glass Half Full

Falklands, Caribbean, Med, and East Africa/Arabian sea (anti-piracy) are all a good fit for B2 as currently armed. I agree locating B2’s, again as currently armed, in places such as Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, and Bab al-Mandab Strait needs a very good understanding of the risk/political climate at the time. For example an ASM from Houthis might be an unpredictable risk not worth taking if lacking adequate air defence. Conversely, operating around Iran with just a 30mm (plus Martlet perhaps) and optionally a Wildcat, performing commercial ship escort, might be considered relatively low risk. This is because short of… Read more »


Singapore has been signalled for some time. The old Sembawang Naval Base has been ticking over as a Commonwealth refuelling station, but it could be where one of the Rivers will be forward based. Bahamas is a possible for the Caribbean. Where in the Med? There was discussion 18 months ago about a new port at Akrotiri, so there or Gib. The other two, I don’t know. I’d probably want one in South Africa and one in the South Pacific, but I’ve not heard anything.


Not Bahamas, I meant Bermuda.

andy reeves

ireland island at the top of Bermuda was until the 50’s a royal navy base

Daniele Mandelli

Could they get in to Akrotiri Mole, at Cape Gata? The RCL’s in Cyprus were located there.

Looks a pretty limited facility at present. But it is within the SBA so secure.


I think Phalanx is a self contained system. It only needs power. The crane is integral to fisheries work and to humanitarian work; unloading containers.
My preference would be to replace the 30mm with the BAe 40mm or 57mm. My understanding is that this would provide better self defence against AShM than Phalanx and greater offensive clout.

andy reeves

as long as its turned on, the USS STARK FAILED TO ACQUIRE EITHER OF THE EXOCETS THAT STRUCK IT BECAUSE ONE OF THE SYSTEMS WASN’T TURNED ON! HENCE THE DOUBTS ABOUT PHALANX NOT BEING AS GOOD A SYSTEM AS IT WAS BELIEVED TO BE. THE OTHER PHALANX FAILED TO ACQUIRE THE INCOMING MISSILE SO, IT WAS UNABLE TO SEE how effective it was. as it stands phalanx is under review and often replaced in numerous navies by the rim116 rolling air frame system which is cheaper at just$800,000 each.


Sirely they could each have the BAE 40mm with alternative munitions… Commonality with T31 and some punch for self defence.

andy reeves

we’ve done that subject to death

andy reeves

i have the odd weekend away at the favourite base of mine, ‘Gibraltar i was talking to a local, about the rock and the navy and was told that due to far fewer royal navy ships visiting the province, its economy has taken a big hit especially the pub trades which have seen most of the old haunts closed. a similar thing happened to Malta where the infamous ‘gut’ is now a street with brick covering where the bar/music venue and those lovely accommodating local ‘good catholic’ ladies of the night’ would always welcome a weary (drunken) sailor( i’d like… Read more »

andy reeves

Gibraltar and Bahrain with crew rotation i’d expect

Andy P

“And it was met with enthusiasm by all the ship’s company who were looking forward to making an impact in an operational theatre, as well as taking advantage of the fantastic adventurous training, wildlife and rich history the Falkland Islands have to offer.”

You’ve got to love the Wardroom ‘spin’. Port Stanley is hardly Route Alpha in Pompey.

andy reeves

strong smell of bulls*** there.

andy reeves

got to watch out for them penguins, they give a nasty nip if they get a bit cranky!

Rob N

Out of interest does anyone know when Sky Sabre (Land Ceptor), will go operational on the Falklands? I recall it was 2020….