HMS Severn has returned to operational status after her crew completed the three-week Operational Sea Training assessment, say the Royal Navy.
The River class Offshore Patrol Vessel left the fleet in October 2017 after 14 years of service.
The vessel was originally decommissioned in October 2017 as previously the plan was to replace the Batch 1 River class Offshore Patrol Vessels with the newer Batch 2 vessels. However, it was announced in 2018 that all vessels will be retained.
A&P Defence recently delivered the reactivation refit of HMS Severn as part of an ongoing support contract with BAE Systems.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“Offshore patrol vessels operating in the UK use a system of crew rotation which means they spend four weeks on the ship, then two on shore, with about a third making the switch at any time. With the “off watch” in isolation at home while the rest of the crew are at sea it has meant a succession of seamless transitions for the crew during the Covid-19 outbreak – vital for a class of ship which aims to achieve 320 days at sea per year.
It is a return to operations for HMS Severn for the first time since late 2017 when she was decommissioned. However, she was later deemed too important to UK defence to be disposed of; the Secretary of State in November 2018 announced that she would return to the Fleet. Since a return to sea on April 1 she has already added nearly 5,000 miles to the log with 10% of her crew coming from the Royal Naval Reserve; common practice among offshore patrol vessels to give reservists a fixed-term spell serving full-time within UK waters.”
HMS Severn will also have an important role to play training Royal Navy navigators, who will join the ship for testing pilotage off the west coast of Scotland and English Channel, say the Royal Navy.