The third of the Royal Navy’s new patrol ships has arrived in Portsmouth for the first time.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“With HMS Tamar and Spey still to come, the quintet at the heart of the RN’s new ‘forward presence’ strategy, with the goal of permanently stationing the vessels in areas key to the UK’s military, political and economic interests around the globe: Caribbean, Mediterranean and Asia-Pacific region.

For now, however, Trent’s eyes are fixed on home waters and getting through trials and training ready to perform any mission from fishery protection through to anti-smuggling, border patrols, counter-terrorism and counter-piracy.”

The Royal Navy say that aside from a crew of 40, there’s space for up to 50 troops/Royal Marines (who have their own mess facilities); the flight deck can accommodate Wildcat and Merlin helicopters; there’s a 30mm automated main gun; and flat out the engines push Trent along at 24kts.

“It is a great privilege to be the ship’s first commanding officer and I am proud of what has been achieved thus far”, said Lieutenant Commander James Wallington-Smith.

“Trent now enters the next phase which will see her develop into a warship, being made ready for sustained patrol operations in the new year.”

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Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

It’s official then. Forward based in due course.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

utter waste, window dressing doesn’t paper over the cracks. these ships could have been so so much more

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

£20 MILLION TO CHeCK MANUELS FISHING NETS? I’M IN UTTER DESPAIR

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

where lowestoft?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Norfolk I think mate. Why?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Correction – Suffolk.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

a pimple on the backside of the u.k horrible dump.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

forward based fishery protection, gibraltar maybe, catch the spanish fishermen before they set off to plunder our waters.

Herodotus
Guest

A crew of 40…..what on earth do they all do?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Seems small to me for a ship that size?
You were on the H class? Didn’t they have a similar number? Or more?
Are they all on shifts aboard?

Herodotus
Guest

Probably more, but then they were conducting hydrographic surveys…..from dawn to dusk. A lot of post processing of data, such as reducing soundings and creating the charts in situ. Plus there would be a couple of boats doing inshore work…all of which would have to be processed. Then you have the guys manning the shore details monitoring tide-gauges and scaffold offshore tide-guage mounts. On top of that, they had a decent hanger and a Wasp with the relevant flight crew. A really active and productive industrial ship, not quite commercial standards of efficiency, but very effective none-the-less. All in 2,500… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i spent 12 very odd months on h.m.s echo, the converted ham class wooden boat in the three ship inshore survey squadron based at chatham,operating out of lowestoft a total crew of 14.,me, as a leading hand mechanic a tiff and a lone stoker were the entire engineering department for all three boats!

Herodotus
Guest

I remember manning a navigation station in France for the Eastern approaches survey that included Echo and Egeria back in 1976….possibly before you time Andy!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

definitely well before my time, in 76 i was just going in through the recruiting off ice door just after the golden age of steam the oars were well rotted back then then i bet. or, as they were historically called ‘the sweeps’. was enterprise with you. i remember everything rattling fit to bust when we were ‘whipping’ along at 16 knots!

Herodotus
Guest

I don’t remember Enterprise being there, but it is quite possible. Eastern approaches is a big area and lots of shifting sandbanks to plot. We didn’t have much to do with the vessels themselves, I think that the boats were fitted out by a tech from Great Yarmouth….weren’t they old minesweepers that had been found a new and useful life.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the inshore survey squadron as it was grandly named, consisted of echo,egeria ,and enterprise one of them echo,still plies its trade as a seascout training unit. renamed earl of romney, when i last saw a picture of her, she looked better than when i was on it.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

There’s usually a split into 2 or 3 watches, so only half or a third are working at any time as the ship needs to be active 24 hours at sea.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Thought as much Frank, cheers.

I used the wrong terminology “shifts” !

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

them shady spanish fishermen, still fish at night, got to be awake to check those nets, after all we’ve spent£20 million to let them do it

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

count holes in fishing nets, no good for anything else. pointless vessels

Herodotus
Guest

Well Andy, I have always maintained that you could do the same job with an offshore supply vessel as used in the North Sea. Less than half the displacement, really good accommodation and a fraction of the price of the Rivers. Put a civilian crew on board and they will work all the hours required! A complete waste of tax-payers money!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

16 archers? what the bloody hell do they do that a river can’t.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

a 6 boat archersuadron. armed with the 20mm cannon they were designed to carry,drilled and trained to operate at gibraltar as an update to the poor gibraltar squadron

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i had the good?() fortune to walk past the forth in pompey, bloody heck these are big ships, patrol vessels? no way.in some navy’s they’d be called frigates. i was on a leander, and these batch 2 rivers, look almost as big.

Herodotus
Guest

Given the absurdity of some of the decisions taken at the highest levels, we deserve to fail as a nation! The MOD needs gutting…its staff sacked or repositioned within the civil service. If Dom Cummings (the Mekon) has better ideas, lets see them…they couldn’t be any worse than the ad hoc approach to defence that has been going on for years.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

agreed o a point, my concern is that they are a joke to see’escorting russian warships through the channel. may as well use an archer!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

sudoku? or practice fishing net checking. may as well be going toward crew shortfalls elsewhere

Richard Cooper
Guest
Richard Cooper

Why is it flying the blue ensign?

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

It’s the Government Ensign, as at that point, she is under the control of the UK government but not actually .

It has since been lowered, with the White Wnsign being raised. However, this is only a technicality as she is seen as vessels whose commissioning ceremony is to be held some time after acceptance are entitled to wear a full suite of colours.

In short, she flew the Government Ensign on entry to Portsmouth and lowered it for the White Ensign when alongside. She’ll commission early in the new year.

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

Attempt #2 (to forgo my late-night typos!)

It’s the Government Ensign, as at that point, she is under the control of the UK government but not actually in commission.

It has since been lowered, with the White Ensign being raised. However, this is only a technicality as vessels whose commissioning ceremony is to be held some time after acceptance are entitled to wear a full suite of colours.

In short, she flew the Government Ensign on entry to Portsmouth and lowered it for the White Ensign when alongside. She’ll commission early in the new year.

Richard Cooper
Guest
Richard Cooper

Thank you!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

sell it and the rest of them. pointless wastes of resources, money should have gone for t31’s patrol ships ffs we’ve 16 archers, what do they do?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Andy mate, the Archers support the UNS RN! University Naval Squadrons RN.
In all out war sure put a cannon on them and use them along the coasts and up rivers.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i already knew that, butt hey are used as ‘fanny boats’ for the hooray henrys and not in any way as a royal navy vessel, if the r.n can’t findthem a proper job, they should, like therivers, be sold off or scrapped

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

Why are these RN ships so under armed with 30mm guns as their main armament, rather than something to match most other navies like a 57mm + at least 2 30/20mm guns?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

look at the h.m.t.s krabi same design, as a batch 2 river, but has a 76mm gun, two extra 30mm behind the bridge wings useless capable platforms, won’t be wasted on fishing duty thats for sure.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

plans in hand to fit harpoon.real surprise that one.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

even those crappy archers were designed for a 20mm cannon. with this kind of directionless thinking, they may as well turn off the lights at the admiralty, lock the doors and bugger off to the job shop.the R.N is doomed and a couple of shiny carriers won’t hide it.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

It often seems that way, but underfunding is probably the main problem. The thing that appalled me most was the RN getting in such a mess when trying to recreate cats & traps for the QEs before they went with the VTOL option. After inventing & developing carriers over nearly a century, we suddenly didn’t know how to do it!!! I’d prefer a VTOL aircraft that could take off & land anywhere, rather than needing exorbitant special coatings to stop the deck being melted. Kinda nullifies a big part of the VTOL advantage. As far as properly arming our Rivers,… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

its not just under funding, its deteriorating pay, conditions in quarters, a fixation with the f35 the blind hope that the type 26 won’t be the disaster that came of the type 45 and astute, the R.N has for too many years been able to get the M.O.D to allow the procurement of expensive, unproven equipment which has led to outlandish cost rises in capital projects, the navy has been beset by poor judgement,aimless planning a failure to understand that it wants more numbers or overpriced gadgets, bought because its manufacturers claims of being the best of the best i.e… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

given that a 76 mm gun is roughly 3 inches, a 3 inch gun on vessels of this size increase their punch, versatility. in one move.

expat
Guest
expat

Because we paid too much to build them. BAe had a captive customer with ToBA and promise to build ships in Scotland, you can imagine the negotiation with BAe. We can build you three OPVs for 348m or you can pay us to sit idle until T26 is finalised, take it or leave it.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

SEND IT BACK OR SELL IT POINTLESS£20 MILLION TO CHECK FISHERMEN’S NETS? MADHOUSE, UTTER DISGRACE.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves
r cummings
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r cummings

The criticism of River 2 is a bit unfair. We maybe forget why it is as it is. It was designed and configured specifically to handle fishery protection and constabulary duties in UK home waters, it was never meant to be a fighty corvette. The FP role is part-funded by defra if I remember and there is no way they would be contributing to a 76mm gun or Astor missiles or similar! In that role, it can call on land-based helos, so pretty logical to build it without a hangar, which would bump up the loa and increase the hull… Read more »

Paul42
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Paul42

Very true!! Adhoc funding has caused substantial delays to build programmes and millions are then added to their costs aswell additional millions being spent on trying to keep outdated kit serviceable. The R2s are a consequence of delays to Tyoe 26 programme now reduced to eight vessels! The money spent on the R2s should have been spent on five more – negating the need for a Type31e!!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Paul42#
WRONG! The RN does Not need £1 Billion Specialist ASW frigates to petrol places like the Gulf. That is what the T31 frigates are for!
Also the R2’s are to replace the R1’s, OPV’s.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

The R2s came about and were built purely as a result of delays to the Type 26 contract!!!! If there had not been a delay, these vessels would never have been built!! The plan was originally for 13 x Type 26, but money was spent on these vessels to honour an obligation to keep the yards busy. Subsequently less funding was available for Type 26 and a decision was made to reduce the number of hulls to 8 and build the Type 31e, which although based on a very successful is heavily underarmed.

The Big Man
Guest
The Big Man

Meirion X is correct. £1 billion assets are being misused (and will continue to be) and the R2 and Type 31’s fill this gap at a fraction of the cost.
Remember that 5 of our Type 23’s are classed as General Purpose Frigates and not ASW. Hence the split makes sense.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Misuse? Making use of the assets you have for a job that needs doing right now, but might not in say six months? It’s about the strength of the fleet as a whole and ensuring you have the number of assets you require for multiple roles. The General purpose Type 23 is superior to the Type 31 and capable of engaging and sinking its replacement. – why? The Type 31 has no offensive armament – no anti-ship or land attack capability (Harpoon does both), iit has extremely limited AAW 32 Sea Ceptor on Type 23 as opposed to 24 on… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

whatever all the arguments, the nations fleet size should be tailored to its tasking requirements, the u.k has failed,time and again to heed lessons of history that show a foreign navy came within weeks of ending britains ability to wage war. given the size of the russian north lfeet submarine size, evidence would suggest that the same could happen again, and, that we nor anyone else could do anything to stop it.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

same flawed decision making that said£1.8 billion f r just one astuteslow, leaking prematurely rusting, overpriced, over rated, over hyped far too slow to produce the admiralty needs to decide ship numbers or expensive gadgetry they ‘ve always been allowed both, hence, rocketing programme costs leading to order reductions. allowing the r.nto decide what propulsion fleet submarines were to have,was a disgrace. they should have been told, you will have what the nation will pay for,and that nuclear wasn’t the be all, and end all.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

The propose of the Type 26 frigate program, is to counter advanced peer Russian subs.and maybe Chinese ones as well.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

The original idea was for them to be ‘Global Combat ships’ performing in multiple roles including ASW, which with the 5” Gun, Mk41 Vls , and specialist ASW kit including Towed Array sonar they are perfectly capable of doing. Thanks to the delays with Type 26, the RN lost Type 45 hulls 7 & 8, found themselves with 5 x OPVs they don’t actually want and only 8 Type 26 and 5 poorly armed Type 31e.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

The River batch 1’s are already 15 years old, they will become more expensive to maintain in the future, so a decision would have had to be made to replace them anyway in next decade. It Not, the UK would be Without OPV’s, Unable to carry out constabulary duties in the Med. etc. The 3 batch 1 Type 26 are already costing £3.7 Billion to construct. It is clearly Unaffordable to have ordered All 13 Type 26 frigates as replacements for the Type 23 frigates. I do agree that the proposed Type 31 frigates should be better armed with capabilities… Read more »

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

You are missing the point. Type 45 Hills 7 & 8 (which the RN badly needed) were sacrificed to speed up and bring forward the Tupe 26 programme. That didn’t happen, the programme was bogged down and extensively delayed. As it transpired there was an obligation to keep the yards busy with work and hence the B2s were conceived and built – already taking funds away from the T26 programme. Then because of the delays a Lifex refit programme was conceived to keep the Type 23s going ,- yet more money going elsewhere……….the end result? Well the 13 Hull Tupe… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

The MoD kept changing the specs of the Type 26 at the time, eg. flight deck had to be big enough for a Chinook heli. as well as designing the T26 took longer then expected.
MoD just could not make their minds!

I disagree with the decision to cut T45
hull numbers.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Yes cutting hulls 7 & 8 was a huge mistake, but the decision was made on the basis of bringing the Type 26 programme forward. The MOD Pro cement process badly needs sorting out, so much money wasted, combined with incompetent decisions.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

more than the cutting of the t26 order.while the frigate is the workhorse of any fleet, it is the destroyer that provides the’ at sea,’teeth’. and say major asset protection.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Good summary of events. But there is a route forwards I think. The 5 R2’s will free up frigates: in addition to fisheries they can do Caribbean, Falklands and FRE duties. And they have growth potential. The choice of the Arrowhead 140 hull for Type 31 was very smart. It is capable of being developed into an AAW / ABM platform thereby compensating for the reduction of Type 45 numbers from 8 to 6. I would build 8 of them, 6 GP frigates as heavily armed as we can afford and 2 as AAW ‘destroyers’. Questions…would Type 26 be cheaper… Read more »

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Unfortunately the B2s have no real purpose other than perhaps Fisheries/ Constabulary purposes, there is certainly no growth potential as it were. If they had been completed in an enlarged form as a Corvette with a Hangar things might be different. I fully agree with the notion of arming the Type 31e to the teeth as it were, the Danish variants are very well kitted out – but this the UK………. The Type31e is unsuitable as an AAW Destroyer, unless you can find away to fit Sampson and Astor to these vessels. We’d be better off purchasing second hand Ticonderoga… Read more »

expat
Guest
expat

The T31e in its current form yes, but it does have the capacity to be an AAW Frigate with some design changes so we could add to the current production run, in theory that is. On the batch 2s I get that there were delays to the T26 and ToBA meant we had to pay BAe so we may as well build something, but what bugs me is what we got for the money. Oman got 3 corvettes for 400m, 50m more than the first 3 batch 2s. The Samuel Beckett class OPV was approx. 55m per ship including the… Read more »

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

You could add additional CAMM launchers to Type 31e, it should have the same as Type 23. But you cannot build an AAW version without fitting Sampson and Astor and that is a non-starter. Our Type 45s are indeed very capable AAW Destroyers and the envy of many…..the weapons load out could and should have been better….but this is the UK – where half a job will do.
Unless you can persuade BAE to build hulls 7 & 8, or maybe more, we won’t be improving on our AAW situation anytime soon.

expat
Guest
expat

I agree its not a realistic short term solution but I think the T31 design could be modified and later batches include AAW capability. Firstly because the any later design will probably not have Sampson radar and may a panelled design like the APAR on the Iver Huitfeldt class and secondly the hull has the space to introduce more VL cells. Using an exist hull form will keep down costs and allow that more realistic load out imo. I can see there could be a competition between BAe and Babcock for the next AAW platform.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

The Tupe 31e is a Frigate which could be outfitted to perform the GP function admirably with at least a Bow Mounted sonar, Mk41 Vls with a decent loadout – say LRASM and ASROC and a decent size gun . Any replacement for Type 45 needs to be bigger and better. We could have opted for AEGIS which would no doubt fit on a Type 31e, along with a decent MK41 AAW loadout – but that would negate the huge amount spent on developing Sampson

expat
Guest
expat

I personally don’t think the UK will go for a destroyer sized vessel to replace the T45. If the T26 or T31 hull could be used it would save a lot of new design cost and with known build cost we should add more hulls. Crew size will also play a large part in hull selection imo. T26 will have Aegis fitted for Australia so that’s a sunk cost already. Aren’t we also talking to Saab on CEAFAR 2 radar also. I also assume our next AAW will utilise some form a direst energy weapon, or at least have the… Read more »

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Indeed, more Warship hulls and less OPVs interestingly, we opted to payout yo develop Sampson when AEGiS was available. We could replace the Type 45s with some second hand Ticonderoga class cruisers…….they would boost our AAW capability by a long way!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

ticondaroga crew sizes are , like all u.s navy ships need a crew of over 300!! the addition of say a ticondaroga every year as the americans are retiring them,would be a fabulous boost to the fleet the r.n hasn’t operated a cruiser since blake was retired, aegis systems, huge tomahawk long range land attack numbers. the ticondaroga is not a young ship many were built, but now some of them are over 30 years old.as carrier escorts they have done the job admirably for all their services. plus they are already built

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

We should definitely look at buying some of these. Sure we could probably get a good deal!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

unaffordable? well we seem to be able to pluck£1.8 billion out of the pot for a submarine don’t we? not to mention the money for the aircraftless carriers

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

I would say they are affordable and excellent value for Money!!