HMS Tamar, part of an order for five ships, was formally named in Glasgow today.

The 90-metre vessel, which is equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter, is part of a five-strong OPV contract with BAE Systems, worth a combined £635m.

Minister for Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew said:

“From patrolling our coastlines and protecting UK waters, to anti-smuggling and counter terrorism operations, these ships are a key part of our Royal Navy fleet.

Today’s naming marks an important milestone in HMS Tamar’s programme ahead of starting sea trials and being accepted into operational service next year.”

Click to enlarge.

At Scotstoun today, the ship’s sponsor, Lady Peach, officially named HMS Tamar by pressing a button to smash a bottle of Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut against the hull – in recognition of the ship being affiliated to Cornwall.

All the vessels are initially constructed in BAE System’s Govan yard, before being moved to their Scotstoun site to be fitted out with their systems ahead of rigorous sea trials.

Alongside the Type 26 anti-submarine frigate programme, the Royal Navy work has filled the Glasgow shipyards’ order books until the early 2030s, with the next batch of frigates to be ordered soon.

All the Batch 2 OPVs, named HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, are set to be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of 2020.

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Cam Hunter

I would love to see a merlin land on these OPVs, ?. An anti submarine equipped wildcat operating from these would be great, I wonder how long they can land on ship for.


I’d hate to be that pilot anyway!
I doubt we will ever see one ‘operate’ from one of these, what we may see is using them as a bounce pad as it were to refuel helos for SAR, ASW etc. And for that they don’t even need to land.

Cam Hunter

Exactly, they can hover to take on fuel, but why we didn’t have them designed with hangars for small helicopters is beyond me! That’s perfect for drug busts and policing the oceans, I hope thy will use Drones from the flight deck. What happend to all the old lynx helicopters? Broken up no doubt! But the lynx would work great from small ships and even british ice breakers and HMS Protector or boat face ecause lots of lynx helicopters were cold weather fitted out so would be perfect. I hope we didn’t scrap the lot, the old lynx could still… Read more »


well in all fairness the lynx is very old at this point, the wildcat however is just an updated lynx, of which there are only a tiny fraction of wildcats compared to lynx. A hell of a lot more Wildcats, Merlins, Apaches etc is required. You can never have enough helicopters!
It does boggle the mind how they didn’t have a small hangar, but I suppose then bean counters would look at them and think ‘hey, you have the T31 already, no need to spend more’.


Could they put up some canvas pop up hangar that is stored away most of the time but can shield a helicopter for a short period of time? Something like this but more robust to help withstand adverse weather?


Perhaps on side rails for easy assembly over the “choppa”. Better than nothing.

Peter Crisp

A bit of a silly question here but these are 90 metres and the Aircraft carries hangers are 155 metres so could one of these fit?

Cam Hunter

What was your question?

Daniele Mandelli


Gavin Gordon

Yet you’d need a pad that size to make best use of the ability to carry and therefore land troops (by junglie in this instance). Along with speed, hull classification, etc., they’ve at least got potential.


I would have smashed a pasty against the hull.

Daniele Mandelli


Steve Salt

Come on Lusty, every Cornishman knows you can drop a pasty down a mineshaft and not break it,trying to launch a ship with it would lead to disaster…..and a damaged pasty ???


If you wanted a fixed hangar the ship would need to be another 15 – 20m longer to accommodate that and the flight deck. The OPVs are for policing work and seem fine the way they are. Save any money for making the 26 and 31 more capable.


A hangar is possible within 90m.
But my guess is that the design trade off would be the crane, the container storage and the large helo landing deck; and possibly accomodation for embarked forces. I’m pretty sure the RN values these higher than a hangar. The River 2s could refuel and rearm a Wilcat or Merlin. I’m thinking maintenance will be done onshore, on a frigate or RFA.