The fifth and final new patrol ship for the Royal Navy was recently formally named in Glasgow.
SPEY, the last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed and built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems, was named in front of gathered VIPs and employees at an official ceremony in Glasgow.
Construction and fitting out work is still ongoing on the vessel.
In keeping with naval tradition, guests watched as Lady Johnstone, the ships sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull.
HMS SPEY is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow.
With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.
David Shepherd, OPV Programme Director at BAE Systems said at the event:
“Today’s ceremony is a truly significant milestone for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and builds on our proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow. There has been fantastic momentum on this programme and the naming of HMS SPEY serves as a great reminder of the importance of the capability and skills of our employees who are working together with the Royal Navy and partners to deliver these important ships.”
Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters, and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS SPEY is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities.”
Constructing the vessels has directly supported 1,700 jobs north of the border and a further 2,300 jobs around the UK in the supply chain.
The Royal Navy say that the ship takes her name from Scotland’s third longest river, famed for its salmon and natural pearls – both reflected in the ship’s badge.
Spey will be used for general patrol duties, counter-terrorism/anti-smuggling missions, provide disaster relief where needed, act as the UK’s eyes and ears on the high seas “and fly the flag for Britain’s global ambitions”, say the Ministry of Defence.