HMS Trent will sail from Glasgow for the first time today with a Royal Navy ships company.
Bored of the #GeneralElection? How about this mighty warship sailing for the first time today. @HMSTrent sails with a @RoyalNavy Ship’s Company from the @BAES_Maritime yard in Scotstoun this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/2tVHVGXi7j
— HMS Trent (@HMSTrent) December 13, 2019
HMS Trent was recently put through sea trials in the Firth of Clyde, down river from Glasgow where she was built.
The Royal Navy say that Trent’s trials allowed her to test her main engineering systems and sensors – engines, water production, sewage and waste collection, electricity generation, radar and the like – and allowed shipwrights to make tweaks and fix any problems once the ship returned to BAE’s yard at Scotstoun.
It is understood that the Ministry of Defence paid an extra £100 million for new Offshore Patrol vessels in order to satisfy a requirement to pay BAE a minimum of £230 million per year. A house of Commons Briefing Paper explains the agreement:
“In 2009 the Government signed a 15 year Terms of Business Agreement (TOBA) with BAE Systems and Babcock. The TOBA guaranteed BAE Systems a minimum level of surface ship build and support activity of £230 million a year. This was judged as the minimum level of work possible to sustain a credible warship-building industry in the UK and thus avoid the delays encountered during the Astute class submarine build caused in part by the loss of skilled staff following the gap between Astute and the Vanguard class submarine build. If cancelled the MoD would be liable for industry closure costs and compensation to BAE Systems.”
Regarding the cost of the new Offshore Patrol vessels:
“The provisional cost of the new vessels was given as £348 million but because the TOBA required a £230 million a year spend with BAE, the Defence Secretary estimated the additional cost to the MoD of the ships, over and above the payments the MoD would have had to have made to BAE, is less than £100 million.”
The Offshore Patrol Vessel and her sister had been ordered to fill a gap in orders after the second carrier and before the Type 26 frigates started construction.