HMS Severn is being replaced with a new batch River class offshore patrol vessel after only 14 years of service.
The ceremony took place earlier in the day in Portsmouth.
In April this year in a written answer to a question raised by Sir Nicholas Soames, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Harriet Baldwin stated that the 14 year old Severn would be decommissioned on October the 27th 2017.
Severn recently sailed for a final visit to her affiliated town of Newport. The vessel is being replaced by one of the new Batch 2 River class vessels being built on the Clyde.
The new Offshore Patrol Vessels were ordered to fill a gap in orders after the second carrier and before the Type 26 frigates begin construction. Critics, the UK Defence Journal included, have raised concerns that they’re severely overpriced and lack important features, such as a helicopter hangar that other, cheaper vessels of the same type have.
The Strategic Defence & Security Review states:
“We will buy two further new Offshore Patrol Vessels, increasing the Royal Navy’s ability to defend UK interests at home and abroad.”
The vessels will be used by the Royal Navy to undertake various tasks including border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement.
The order and construction of the new OPV’s will help sustain hundreds of skilled jobs on the Clyde until the Type 26 build begins, ensuring that the yards remain viable.
The vessels were described at a Defence Select Committee meeting a vessels “the Royal Navy does not want or need”.