HMS Spey, a Royal Navy Offshore Patrol vessel, has been given a makeover.

The vessel can be seen sporting her new paint job below.

Dazzle camouflage was a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I, and to a lesser extent in World War II and afterwards.

HMS Argus displaying a coat of dazzle camouflage in 1918

Credited to the British marine artist Norman Wilkinson, it consists of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other.

The Royal Navy say they plan to paint all five second-generation River-class ships with the dazzle scheme in due course to give them a unique identity in the Fleet.

HMS Tamar was also recently seen sporting the new paint scheme, you can read more about that here.

Commander David Louis, Commander of the Overseas Patrol Squadron, was quoted as saying that the Royal Navy had decided to give the River-class ships a distinct identity to recognise their extended missions.

“Dazzle has much less military value in the 21st Century although there is still value in littoral environments when viewed against the background of land. It is very much more about supporting the unique identity of the squadron within the Royal Navy as part of their forward presence mission.”

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Dern
Dern
1 month ago

XD the Speytacular hashtag though!

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Very Speycial

Something Different
Something Different
1 month ago

Is this part of a grand central scheme to promote the military/Global Britain or are the paint jobs for the OPVs, typhoon Boris force 1 (and let’s throw in the proposed Britannia successor) just all coincidentally happening around the same time?

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
1 month ago

NO. This is all part of an MOD project for overseas postings. All River’s are being re painted so that from a distance they look like battle cruisers. The MOD say that the £20 million spent on each ship has just exceeded the original budget of £10 million per vessel and the ships will astonish potential foes.

James
James
1 month ago

The only reason they did this is to make this weak ships look more combative when sent to Asia Pacific. As if China knows not already everything about this patrol boats . It’s mainly targeted at other less advanced navies and s marketing ploy

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Nope. We are not sending them against China therefore China is irrelevant WRT these vessels.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

He also has very bad pronunciation, as opposed to every day typos we all do…..mmmmmmm……makes you think mate lol

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

My nose is strong with this one, suspected for some time.

James H
James H
1 month ago

I still cant help feel we’re trying to make these into something they’re not.
We had them built, didn’t really not what to do with them, if the original plan was to forward deploy i would have hoped they would have had a hanger and better weapons fit

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

I agree, I would like to see the new 40mm or 57mm that the 31’s are getting being fitted. At least they would look like patrol ships, and be comparable with what lots of other navies have fitted.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

The problem Mike is that if you take the gun up to a 57mm and James’hanger and further anti ship capability you have a frigate which could have been built under Brown and Cameron but weren’t..We now apparently have eight good sae boats that pick up all sorts of jobs previously done by frigates so in that respect they are worth their weight in gold.
BUT…. how about a quin. Martlet added to the 30mm; two twin Mistral AA lightweight rails and a rotary drone or two.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Right Geoffrey. The other thing is you can’t just bolt a 57mm gun on to the existing mounting. It requires a new mounting, under deck ammunition supply and probably extensive strengthening work, very expensive and unrealistic.

A recce drone, Martlet and some bolt on AA guns is very doable though.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

My only gripe is their cost and BAEs lost opportunity to use the money to develop an opv that can compete for exports. It’s extremely basic compared to the Holland class opv’s especially when they would cost the same price when you remove the Aesa radar that was overkill on the Hollands

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Rivers have been sold too:
1x River B1.5 to Bahrain.
3x River B2 to Brazil
2x River B2 to Thailand.

As many River B2’s have been exported as delivered to the RN, and 3 of the 5 where built in the UK.
How is that not competing for exports?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Unfortunately that picture is a little rosier than at first blush. Bahrain’s B1.5 is ex-Clyde, so a used sale. Brazil’s were bought at a discount because Trinidad and Tobago cancelled their order. Thailand’s were a license build, so design and tech transfer but not a build export. Supposedly BAE lost money on the related Khareef class corvettes to Oman too, which was business they inherited from VT Group. Selling used and license building are certainly valid business models. But building new and exporting doesn’t seem to be something BAES is either capable of or wants to do (take your pick)… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

I mean, that’s a pretty harsh interpretation, very few nations export ships without at least some technology transfer or build in new nations docks.
As it stands critiquing the River B2 as being unsuitable for exports is a bit of a load of tosh, especially since, as you pointed out, it’s one of the few ships we have built in the UK, new, and exported.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

Ironically, for a constabulary vessel the Dazzle paint scheme makes a lot more sense than for any other vessel in the Royal Navy.
A Type 45 destroyer isn’t going to worry about an incoming air attack having to visually ID it and mistake it’s bearing or heading is it now?
But a River, intercepting drug runners? Creating doubt and confusion about which bearing and what speed it is travelling at when in visual range is actually a good point for them.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago

Not fully sharing the excitement shown here and elsewhere. Its just a paint and pain won’t detect anything nor fight anything. It is still an OPV with a 30 mm gun, 2x 7.62mm miniguns, and several GPMGs. On the other hand, the paint does clearly shows that (at least these two) River B2s are intended to be used in theaters in which “eye-ball Mk.1” is the primary sensor. So, the considered enemy is a boat carrying RPGs or a bit larger rocket launchers, and man-controlled MGs. The next point to watch is “will the T31 get the dazzle painting?” or… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

The only excitement is from those who want the RB2s turned into battlecruisers and armed to the teeth, which is unneccesary for their role.
Paint job a nice talking point, but why can’t military enthusiasts enjoy something a bit different.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

I must admit, I’m very happy to see the return of the paint scheme. I don;t want to fall into the debate of armament/UAV provision, but I will take the time to enjoy the little things. Tamar and Spey look fantastic!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Quite. From a pure enthusiasts viewpoint, as I am, they look great.
Hurts no one.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

Morning Daniele from a freezing 12 degrees Durban !! 😮  I was initially not a fan but now love the Dazzle-makes them look much more business like. I answered the Defence survey about the time of Gordon Brown’s tenure and suggested inter alia that OPV’s would be great assets taking the pressure off frigates having to engage in chasing pirate dhows etc.. They listened to me 😆  and now we have these great little River 2’s showing the flag! A mild weapons upgrade would be the Cherry on top. Warming to 17 degrees at lunchtime. Hope you enjoying… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Afternoon geoff, from a 27 degrees Surrey!

Agree with the RB2’s. Make it a mild upgrade mind, not really necessary though nice if spare cash available. I’d prefer a full SIGINT fit myself while they loiter in various places.

Respect.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

Love tge new paint…

RobW
RobW
1 month ago

Useful ships that allow the rest of the fleet to do their jobs and not general constabulary duties. I’m looking forward to seeing how future tech is used off these vessels. UAVs in particular can make a big difference to their utility in the coming years.

Also a fan of the new paint job.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

That ain’t dazzle, but splinter camoflague. Nice throwback to WW2 though.

David G Smith
David G Smith
1 month ago

The Royal Navy say they plan to paint all five second-generation River-class ships with the dazzle scheme in due course to give them a unique identity in the Fleet.”

It’d be better if they planned to give them a credible weapons fit instead in view of their projected deployments

In brief, something along the lines of 2 x 3cell ExLS for 24 x (quad-packed) CAMM Sea Ceptor; 1 x Bofors 57mm Mk110 + FCR; 2 x 30mm ASCG + LMM; and a telescopic hangar allowing sustained operation of Wildcat c/w weapons options including :LMM, Sea Venom and Stingray

LongTime
LongTime
26 days ago
Reply to  David G Smith

So by credible weapons fit you actually mean redesign the ship as a frigate

David G Smith
David G Smith
24 days ago
Reply to  LongTime

No. Oddly enough, I merely mean what I said. An always envisaged upgrade to, at most, a weapons fit of lethality commensurate with that of a middling-sized (c2,000te) corvette type vessel. In this case one optimised for primarily defensive duties as, say; 1) an escort suitable for deployment to safeguard merchant traffic in apposite locations/circumstances (eg, the Straits of Hormuz where two such ships would imho have possibly been a better option [ref the Stena Impero incident] than one T23. Or even, as has been the case before now, a billion quids-worth of T45 to play tag with Iranian Republican… Read more »

DaveNBC
DaveNBC
26 days ago

Sure I commented before and to be pedantic, but this is more more splinter camouflage rather than dazzle. The latter used bright colours and patterns to deceive as opposed to the recessive colours we see here. Like it though.