HMS Tyne has been reactivated due to issues with the ships that are to replace her and her sisters.
On Monday 21st May 2018, HMS Tyne made what the Royal Navy called her final entry into Portsmouth Dockyard. However, photos taken in Portsmouth recently had shown her once again flying the White Ensign and now a video has shown her sailing once more.
The White Ensign is an ensign flown on commissioned Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. This is despite Tyne sailing into Portsmouth in May flying her paying-off pennant before her scheduled decommissioning.
In May, a Royal Navy spokesman said:
“HMS Tyne has been in service for 15 years and will bow of her active career on Thursday where a formal decommissioning ceremony will take place which will be witnessed by friends and families, official dignitaries and see the ensign lowered for the final time.”
Recently however, we reported that issues with new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth meant that HMS Tyne would not decommission. According to a contact in the fleet earlier in the year:
“As Forth is a long way from being ready and with these new problems, Tyne is being reactivated and the other OPV which was decommissioned is going into refit. Safe to say its all very political and no quick way to solve the issues. The whole OPV Batch 2 project has now been delayed to the quality issues.”
HMS Forth had been found to have more than 100 defects, including electrical and safety issues. Forth was the first of the five new Offshore Patrol Vessels being built to replace the current River Class vessels. The vessels had been ordered to fill a gap in orders after the second carrier and before the Type 26 frigate build started.
The White Ensign flies proudly aboard #HMSTyne as she leaves #Portsmouth this morning, piloted by Mr Gould. @NavyLookout @RoyalNavy @CaptainMFP @PortsmthNewsHub @AmeliaGould @HMNBPortsmouth @StephenMorganMP @UKDefJournal pic.twitter.com/3DykIUnaZh
— Proud of Portsmouth (@PortsmouthProud) August 14, 2018
Our contact, currently serving in the Royal Navy and involved with the programme told me about the range of issues facing the ship:
“For example bolt heads glued back on (thousands over tightened) high voltage switchboard very dangerous, life rafts failed to launch, wiring sub standard, galley not secured… list is huge. It’s much worse than what they released.
Captain of the ship and higher rankers had a meeting with BAE, MoD etc. I’m surprised nothing has been said else where with it being first of class. They reckon 3 months to rectify, I reckon much more.”
We were also told by our contact that the entire Batch 2 River class programme has been set back due to this, with the second vessel in the class having supposed to have started sea trials in October last year but is currently still alongside at the BAE yard in Scotstoun, Glasgow.
A BAE spokesman said:
“We are actively supporting the Royal Navy to resolve issues around a limited number of bolt fastenings and the electrical system on HMS Forth. These are unrelated issues and investigations for each are now underway to ensure that we resolve any potential impact and establish the cause. We are committed to delivering equipment that meets rigorous safety and quality standards.”
An MoD spokesman added:
“It is normal for us to work with industry partners to make some rectifications to ships once they have been handed to the Royal Navy BAE Systems is already at work on some areas as we work together to ensure HMS Forth goes on to tackle piracy, safeguard our fishing stocks and protect our coastline.”
HMS Forth had been earmarked to replace half-sister HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands guardship and is currently alongside in Portsmouth undergoing repair work.