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.”