HMS Forth monitored the Vasily Bykov through the English Channel and Dover Strait.

The Royal Navy say that HMS Forth had just returned to UK waters from her first foreign port visit when she was called upon to shadow the Russian patrol ship Vasily Bykov.

“Forth had departed Gibraltar on July 31, before heading north at speed and conducting heavy weather trials before a quick logistics stop in Devonport.

She then sailed and positioned herself ready to meet the Vasily Bykov as the vessel sailed from the North Sea having taken part in Russia’s Navy Days celebration in St Petersburg.”

HMS Forth’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Samuel Fields, said in a release:

“It has been a particularly busy time for HMS Forth as we generate for deployed operations and continue to test our ship’s capabilities. I am proud of the ship’s company for rising to this additional challenge.”

The Royal Navy add that HMS Forth continues to prepare for her upcoming deployment to the Falkland Islands later this year where she will replace HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel.

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These River B2s have very striking, and to my eye attractive, bow lines. Can anyone tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of that particular bow shape and the way it sweeps back as it does?


There’s just so much ship and so little gun! The DS30 with martlets would be a good upgrade, ditto Sea Venom launchers. Great potential in them but sadly not likely to be realised


Even a few hand held star streak missiles onboard would be better than nothing.


Never has so much promise, at so great a cost been betrayed by so little a gun.


Just wondering if instead of using a warship; destroyer, frigate, opv, etc to shadow these foreign warships it wouldn’t be better to copy the Russians with their ‘spy trawlers’? A ship designed to electronic eavesdrop and probe the electronic systems and capabilities of these warships?

Daniele Mandelli

Happens already by other means I’d expect.


Reminds me of the 20s/30s at Orford Ness when they had actually got merchantmen to pay to install radio location receivers for ‘safety’ reasons that just happened to be integral to help develop associated pre radar military experiments where of course due in part to this work radar itself was developed.

Peter Crisp

I know we have to do this but how much trouble could one single ship going through the channel actually do?
Surely it would be almost suicidal for them to start doing anything serious as both the UK and France are likely to be rather annoyed by them placing mines or doing serious scanning of warships and both of us have enough land based firepower to make the day entirely miserable for them.

I assume it’s mostly symbolic?


It is. They will be monitoring them to make sure they are not doing anything untoward but generally it is just to show them that we are watching.


The Russian ship will be terrified of the firepower on offer by the Mighty River b2. Bristling with a 30mm cannon, a…. and er…. well the… hmmm. Damn it, they could always ram them if needed! Oh yeah, most Russian ships are quite fast as well.
So the Russians will have to face the fearsome experience of a broadside of bleach white Englishmen’s bottoms! That my friends will be terrifying, who needs expensive weapons on a war ship.


1 × 30 mm cannon; 2 × General purpose machine guns (probably 7.62); 2 × Miniguns apparently…. not sure any of them will do mch damage other than chip a little paint off here and there…

we’re like a toothless old lion, a mighty roar but bugger all else…


And for the money we paid for them, they should have had some teeth. Modest, shorter range and light to medium teeth, but teeth non the less.
Now Iran have challenged us and shown us to be weak, I expect it to become a common occurrence in one form or another. Time to fit them with a proper main gun (57mm), sea venom canister launchers and add martlet to a couple of 30mm, one each side. Then this ship can be of use when the heat turns up.
Anyone here know what that weapons fit would cost per ship?


No but the cost will be huge no doubt. Even just a couple 25mm guns on each side of the bridge like the 3 Amazonas class ships we sold to Brazil for 133 million has would be low cost though. Or even two 30mm so only need to buy one then a 57mm gun system for a few million for the front the US navy bought a 57mm gun system for 7million dollars not long ago, I couldn’t find a price for the gun online. Then add marlet to the 30mms when it’s ready along with defensive aids like chaff… Read more »


This is the other end of the spectrum of the River Class OPV. The Thai Navy Krabi Class OPV is a modified 91m River Class. It has a 76mm Oto Melara gun, 2 MSI 30mm cannons and the newest ship has 4 RGM-84 Harpoon missiles fitted as well :


T.S. So many people are advocating no competition guaranteed work for yards approach to shipbuilding but these OPVs are the result of exactly that approach. ToBA agreement BAe could just tell the government this is what you’ll get for your money, option 2 was pay us to produce nothing.


Armour piercing rounds from the 30mm through the enemy bridge would do some damage at 650 rounds a minute, or even sprayed all below the waterline. Then the enemy ship will blow forth out the water because she’s not a warship she’s an OPV. I’m not sure if the 30mm on Forth has the dual ammo feed capability fitted so it can change what ammo it fires for different targets instantly, I’ve actually not seen the dual feed on any of the many DS30s the RN has.

Steve R

A Russian warship is only as fast as the tug that’s towing it!




R2s & the RN also have gpmgs, miniguns, cutting wit, rude gestures & HMG spin. Some may be FFBNW though.


Two explosions at Russian military bases in a week ,is that due to the russians keeping hold of missiles well past their expiry date?

Captain P Wash

Top Trumps puts the Russian ship on top. Hello by the way. Been out of the Country for a while……. What have I missed ? lol.


If for instance the Russian ship did engage and mission kill/sink the OPV what means would we realistically have to retaliate? Am I right In thinking we don’t have any air launched anti ship missiles for the RAF to retaliate?

If not they’d be home free before we realised what had happened. I doubt an astute hovers around the channel?


HMG tends to give the boys guns but no bullets in an analogy with RN ships. No in service ASM & only a major outcry prevented our warships being denuded of ASMs. Clueless/reckless to the point of treason IMHO.


Only thing RAF could do at moment is paveway iv from up to 10km away and i assume they could now launch a salvo of brimstone 2 from much further away. Would have thought OPV could be up gunned for gulf duty by adding a brimstone option and the martlet bolt on. If type 45 is as good as claimed in wide srea coverage then having 2 or 3 upgunned opv’s working along with a type 45 should provide the coverage and deterence to ING. Options A. 2 x t23. Or…. B. 1 x type 45 and 2 x upgunned… Read more »

Paul T

There are two options if the brown stuff really hit the fan -get MARTE ER integrated on the RAF Typhoons PDQ, second is to get a couple of Sea Harrier FRS2 out of storage and hope there are a few Sea Eagle Missiles still kicking about somewhere, option 2 is obviously far fetched but option 1 could be done if needs really dictated.


We have FRS2 Harriers in storage? I thought only the ETP school had the last harrier?

Paul T

David – not 100% sure but think there are a few,the Indian Navy tried to buy some but the sale was blocked due to some technology transfer issues,they have since been used for Deck Training etc.


Hawker Hunter Aviation have a Buccaneer kicking about if you want to go retro with your Sea Eagles!

But would any Sea Eagles still be viable now? Surely any legacy missiles would be past their sell by date…

Paul T

That is very true – but as in 1982 the skills in improvisation are alive and kicking in the UK Aviation Industry – at the end of the day something is always better than nothing.

Daniele Mandelli

Hello Captain! You’re back. Welcome.

Captain P Wash

Thanks Daniele. Been in Alaska on a mission. didn’t really enjoy the previous stint on here truth be known, got a whole load of crap from a couple of Attention seeking Trolls . hopefully, It’ll be a bit nicer now.


And how was your mission in Alaska? You are being a little disingenuous about taking ‘crap from a couple of trolls’….selective memory at play here I think. Perhaps your time on the ‘naughty step’ has given you the opportunity to reflect on some of your wayward comments? It will be a ‘bit nicer from now’, if that is the case!

Captain P Wash

Ha…….. Fuck off Troll…….. You really need to take a long hard look at yourself bud…… Typing in an agresive manner might be fun for your type of sad , troll like state of mind but in real life…… It’ll get you nothing but Hurt…… trust me mate……… I’ll hurt you face to face….. like you’ll never believe. Up for a meet then ? …. love to on my part mate…… Just give me your Number, Address, Military History…… unlerss you are just a sad fucking Troll………. reckon that’s all you are mate….. a sad fucking troll, never actually seen… Read more »

Captain P Wash


Captain P Wash

can’t say I’ll miss this place…… full of CUNTS……… Have I mentioned that this place is inhabited mostly by CUNTS like that CUNT Heroditus ? fuck me, what a CUNT He Fucking IS………

Captain P Wash

Christ….. I’m still here……. Is that Cunt still here too ?


Sorry, clearly you are not a well person…..I wish you a good recovery.


Actually CPW, on reflection, that was so funny, I am inclined to agree with you!


A peace offering cpw…..this post made me laugh so much….so funny..made my day! Honestly. Will have to take you out for a curry one day…..


Oh dear, I think that you have crossed the line again. If you want anyone to take you seriously, I suggest that you drop the extreme abuse. Nobody is impressed by your histrionics. However, you have revealed yourself as someone that may have mental health issues. In which case I will gladly take a more sympathetic line. But maybe George could look at your posts?

Meirion X

You have missed a Troll knocked out of action Captain!?


On a related topic. While HMS Forth was in Gibraltar there were no Spanish incursions into Gibraltar Territorial Waters. She sails and hey presto a Spanish Customs launch comes right up to the shoreline.
What are we waiting for? What happened to the promise of the new larger RN patrol craft for the Gibraltar squadron?What indeed?

Captain P Wash

Lol. we’ll not get anymore Ships till the Proverbial Shit, hit’s the Fan.


These little ships don’t seem very well armed in my opinion.

The Snowman

Exactly what the River B2 is supposed to be doing, and cheaper than a T23 or T45. But yes, shame it cost so much to keep the skills going and the yard open due to fannying about with T26 (which I still don’t get – premier ASW and land attack option in one ship?).