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.


  1. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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!

  2. 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..

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

      • 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 (DDX) and other support ships too,you can see my point.Id agree that a lot has to do with the Government actually commiting to finance and order such projects to keep the yards in work but as you know its a very competitive industry that no-one can afford to stand still in.

  3. 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.

  4. I wish the north Devon shipbuilders who build far superior and more powerful ships for the Irish navy was considered. Far better value.

    • 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.”

    • 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 to keep costs down, they might have a bigger gun but they are meant to look scary to Trawlers fishing out of quota and smugglers into the Republic. They are not even remotely ‘fighty’ in a real sense. The 76mm is more for show and are recycled from other boats retiring, the vessel would have been just as effective in its role with a 25 or 30mm auto cannon.

      The RN does not want to take our River II into a fight against a peer rival so there is no point wasting money putting a 57 or 76mm on when a 30mm is just fine. Nevertheless is the River II has the fit out of a warship and a helicopter deck, a far more useful feature than an overly big gun for what is a fisheries protection vessel!

      • 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,

  5. Remember these were all about TOBA with BAES.

    And keeps used going until T26.

    Another fine HMG effort.

  6. 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.

      • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

    • 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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 use a drill. They may or may not be supplied with a tap suitable for use with a drill. So due to time constraits they might use the wrong tool for the job and the tool breaks inside the hole. The manager may or may not indicate that anyone who is inefficent in their work will be the first to go when there is the next round of redundencies. So, fearful for his job our poor put upon worker quickly cuts the head off a bolt and glues it on to cover up his fuck up. Self preservation. What would you do? At the same time they are spending obsene amounts of money correcting faults that don’t even exist, just to prove a point. Apparently, during the first set of sea trials, the ship returned back to BAe Systems early because the hydrsulic piping for thecontrollable pitch propellor ws full of shot blast. Again, because of a lack of oversight from the management. So I hear anyway.


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