Recently identified issues with new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth will be rectified within the coming weeks, say her builders BAE.

It was reported last week that HMS Forth, was found to have more than 100 defects, including electrical and safety issues.

HMS Forth is 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 frigates begin construction. Critics, the UK Defence Journal included, have raised concerns that they’re severely overpriced and lack important features, such as a helicopter hangar that other, cheaper vessels of the same type have.

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 has been earmarked to replace half-sister HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands Guardship and is currently alongside in Portsmouth undergoing repair work.

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A. Smith
A. Smith (@guest_413193)
3 years ago

Can someone please remind me of the benefits of giving warship building contracts to a single source supplier and the same shipyards without any form of competition?

Chris (@guest_413198)
3 years ago
Reply to  A. Smith

As far as i know one of the main reasons for giving the Batch 2s to BAE was just to remain capabilities and workers within the Clyde yards until the work of the Type 26 started.

andyreeves (@guest_413237)
3 years ago
Reply to  A. Smith

stupid pointless ships a well drilled squadron of archers could do the same job

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_413254)
3 years ago
Reply to  andyreeves

Or the Gosport Ferry lol.

Seriously. How could archers self deploy thousands of miles and land helicopters on them? These are fine for their role.

Now if we had a great big mother ship to load Archers on to then deploy them in the Indian Ocean it may be a bit more feasable!

dadsarmy (@guest_413281)
3 years ago
Reply to  andyreeves

With a 550 nm range, their use even offshore is very limited.

The Forth has 5,500 nm.

andy (@guest_413201)
3 years ago

sounds like another over priced waste of taxpayers to me…but i suppose this is what happens when you only have one company holding all the cards..which previous governments are to blame for allowing it to happen..

Lusty (@guest_413207)
3 years ago

Just keep pots of superglue well away from BAE in the future.

andyreeves (@guest_413238)
3 years ago
Reply to  Lusty

keep away from BAE

Andy Cee
Andy Cee (@guest_413208)
3 years ago

Although at the lower end of capabilities, its still a complex warship. This link covers the situation quite well:

Less than 100 snags – apparently low for the size and complexity of the vessel. And no extra cost as its

(a) covered by warranty and
(b) the ship was scheduled for this downtime after its trials.

So, as STRN says – a storm in a teacup

Paul.P (@guest_413211)
3 years ago

An article on the French shipbuilding industry, for comparison

BB85 (@guest_413265)
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul.P

DCNs, Damen, Nevantia and Fincantieri all smash BAE in terms of their offerings to the export market. Substantially superior design, workmanship and price.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_413284)
3 years ago
Reply to  BB85

BB85 – Yes agree entirely,we (UK/BAE) are miles behind other countries in regards to building Warships.Take Fincantieri for example – didn’t do too badly out of the Horizon/Type 45 fiasco,went on to develop the FREMM Frigates jointly with France with 10 units to be built for the Italian Navy.Has not sat on its hands for 19 years and the next class of Multi-mission Frigates has been designed and already construction has started (PPA) Still not content to stay still and the Frigate class after that is in the planning stage (PPX) Plus another class of 2 Destroyers planned after that… Read more »


[…] post Issues with HMS Forth to be fixed within weeks appeared first on UK Defence […]

Steven (@guest_413244)
3 years ago

I’m sure the media will report this rationally

David (@guest_413246)
3 years ago

Seems like a non event to me. I don’t believe for one moment that a ship of this complexity would ever leave the manufacturer without carrying at least 100 defects.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_413256)
3 years ago

Remember these were all about TOBA with BAES.

And keeps used going until T26.

Another fine HMG effort.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_413357)
3 years ago

Uh, phone auto correct., should say “yards” not used!

clive (@guest_413261)
3 years ago

Wasn’t it the case that HMG had to pay BAeS anyway through some contract even if the company did nothing, and HMG decided it might as well get some OPVs out of it, rather than pay them to do nothing? I thought I had read something to this effect several years ago.

dadsarmy (@guest_413278)
3 years ago
Reply to  clive

Yes, as Danielle says it’s the 15 year 2009 TOBA which runs out in 2024.

clive (@guest_413286)
3 years ago
Reply to  dadsarmy

Thanks, didn’t realise that was what it was called. In that case, surely it is better to get some OPVs, rather than to pay the same and get nothing.

Pacman27 (@guest_413269)
3 years ago

You do have to wonder – who accepted this into the Royal Navy.

Ok it is under warranty (a good move) but it should never got through its sea trials.

Seems to me to be substandard quality – not really a good example of what I hope to see in the future.

dadsarmy (@guest_413277)
3 years ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Apparently 100 defects is a realatively small number to have. And it also seems there’s no problems with the electrical system in itself, only when plugging in shoreside.

dadsarmy (@guest_413273)
3 years ago

I’m guessing this is part of the reason for the extra cost and ability, apart from being Merlin capable, giving ASW ability:

“BAE Systems’ new state-of-the-art shared infrastructure operating system will be installed in the ship to deliver simpler operations. It employs virtual technologies to integrate the weapon systems, sensors, and management systems for the complex warships.

The vessel will be equipped with BAE Systems’ CMS-1 combat system to provide planning, tactical picture compilation, situational awareness, decision-making, and control of weapons from its intuitive consoles in littoral operations. The combat system also assists Nato and other coalition missions.”

Fedaykin (@guest_413280)
3 years ago

No issue with the ship builders in Devon but the Samuel Beckett-class is neither far superior or more powerful beyond the refurbished OTO-76 than the River Batch II. The Samuel Beckett-class lacks the systems fit of the River II, they have significantly inferior sensors, communications fit, counter measures fit and no CMS. They also lack the the survivability features seen in the River II class like armour and military grade fire suppression system. The general fittings on the Irish boats are those of a large civilian fishing trawler rather than a warship. The Samuel Beckett-class was built and fitted out… Read more »

Paul.P (@guest_413384)
3 years ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

RN standard CMS, range of 5500nm, two substantial rhibs, accomodation for 50 RM, top speed of 24knots, a crane to launch containerised UXVs and/or ability to refuel a Merlin and I suspect to rearm a Wildcat plus good force protection armament. Very useful assets indeed. Different animal to Samuel Beckett class,

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_413282)
3 years ago

It’s all well and good slagging BAE off, but my god imagine the outcry if the government let the company go under and all our warships had to be built abroad. I’d be very grateful we still have a very large and successful British defence company.

Steven (@guest_413366)
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Most BAE shares are owned by Americans, so how “British” is it really ?

dave12 (@guest_413290)
3 years ago

It would be better for 2 extra type 45s than these toys but we need numbers so cant complain to much

Andy G
Andy G (@guest_413300)
3 years ago

When is UKDJ going to stop saying how they critisize these ships?

Mike Saul
Mike Saul (@guest_413319)
3 years ago

Doesn’t send out a very good message to potential export clients.

It’s a tough market out there, if BAE wants a piece of action they have get the quality and price right.

They seem to be failing on both.

Paul.P (@guest_413379)
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Saul

The Thais are building another Krabi class, Brazil has 3 Amazonas. With the 5 River 2s I make that 10 in total. Not excactly a Leander scale success but some kudos due to the basic Vosper design I think.

geoff (@guest_413327)
3 years ago

What is the norm in the military shipbuilding industry elsewhere? In the Building industry we can get “Snag lists” that run to hundreds of items even if the Main Contractor is regarded as a competent builder. I should imagine that with a complex item such as HMS Forth there are bound to be minor issues that need attention especially after the rigours of sea trials. Ideally the contractor should do his own snagging prior to delivery but even then it is difficult to pick up every issue

Anon (@guest_418925)
2 years ago

This ship is beyond a joke. It is, alas, a sad reflection of the nanagement of BAe Systems. I don’t think it is a reflection of the guys actually building the ships up in Govan, but sadly indicative of the management heavy shambles that is our largest defence contractor. In the shipyard the guys are given a short time to carry out various tasks. Say, for example, drilling a blind hole and tapping a thread into it. The tome they are given does not allow sufficent time to had cut threads into the hole so they might cut corners and… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves (@guest_486462)
1 year ago