HMS Trent has been commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet during a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base today.

In 2013 it was announced that the Royal Navy had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support.

The following year, BAE Systems signed the contract to build the ships on the Clyde in Scotland. The Ministry of Defence stated that the Batch 2 ships are capable of being used for constabulary duties such as “counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations”.

According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers.

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Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago

Will Trent be forward deployed, I wonder?

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Are any in the Caribbean yet? We have gone from 3 UK based Opvs to 6. What are we going to do with them all if this fishing war with the French and Spanish never happens.

Stevo H
Stevo H
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Trent could well be forward deployed to our Middle Eastern outpost Bahrain, her older sister has been ‘sold’ to their Navy so Trents company could help train the new crew whilst carrying out her own agenda….it makes perfect sense to me.
The proverbial “two birds with one stone”.

Stevo H
Stevo H
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

More than likely to Bahrain I reckon, to work with her older sister which has been “sold” to our Middle Eastern partner. It wouldn’t surprise me if her crew will help train their counterparts as well, it’s a no brainer really.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevo H

Really send Trent to Bahrain!
She will be a laughing stock there with only a 20mm gun!

The Big Man
The Big Man
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

She doesn’t have a 20mm gun.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  The Big Man

I mistaken her with Clyde which did have a 20mm gun, I think.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago

So that’s 4 in service now with only Hms Spey due next year.

john melling
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Even after HMS Spey enters service I still think we should order more

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  john melling

Interesting… and what should be cut for them?

4thwatch
4thwatch
1 month ago

Fitted for but not with Pirates, Smugglers and Poldark. ‘Citing stuff.

john melling
1 month ago

See Trent has as of an hour ago set off to be permanently in the Mediterranean.
Take it she will be based at Gib?

4th watch
4th watch
1 month ago
Reply to  john melling

Hope so, great Deployment. Careful with that shiny grey paint, if ‘The Don’ can he’ll try denting it.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  4th watch

Or maybe Cyprus.

RichardB
RichardB
1 month ago
Reply to  john melling

Gibraltar would seem to be the logical location for an OPV forward deployed to the Med. Ticks most boxes and sends a subtle message to the Spanish. The Royal Logistics Corps and RN naval facilities at the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus were never great, and seem unlikely to have improved since the P2000’s were withdrawn ten years ago. Of course Malta would be ideal location wise! But we do now seem to be short of OPV’s, with three B2 Rivers forward deployed (presumably for years), that seems to leave a maximum of 4 OPV’s available in UK waters… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Has there been any news on the batch ones futures as yet, will they be keep for the channel work, North Sea and fishers etc. While the B2s help police the more exotic distant places and keep the UK doing its bit to ensure its most abiding legacy to the world remains (let’s just keep reminding everyone that the freedom of the seas was our gift to both the modern world and history).

Cam
Cam
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Good to know

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There is a PIN, https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:312174-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0

So, operating all 8 OPVs (3 B1s and 5 B2s) 2022/10/31 afterwards is “planned”, if not decided yet.

Wayne
Wayne
1 month ago

What extra capabilities could these ships have if they didn’t have a landing area for a helicopter it can’t house? Will helicopters regularly land there?

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne

Hi Wayne, I’m pretty sure the helo won’t be a permanent feature of the B2. It will.be used for lilly-padding on to somewhere else. Dropping off the odd personnel and supplies. Likely to pickup staff that need medical attention without taking the ship too far from its posting. As for what capabilities it could have had… likely an extra boat or containers. And anything you can think of that can be containerised. I can carry some anyway, but without it being a landing pad, it could carry more. Also in theory it could take canister launched missiles or an extra… Read more »

Wayne
Wayne
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Thank you Matt. It’s been said here a lot in the past but its a lot of ship a patrol task. Id like to see some more defensive capability. I guess keeping it simple is the RN way of getting past the penny pushers without damaging the Type 31 requirement.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne

Hi Wayne, There is actually a great article on the savetheroyalnavy website (see below) that explores the potential for the B2 Rivers. Some include moving the current gun into the upper left wing position (and a second gun added to the right) with a Bofors added to the main gun mount at the front for AA defence… as the T31 frigate will be mounting those for AA and swarm defence I wouldn’t think it too ‘far out there’ to add it to the Rivers as the main armament. There’s also the likelihood of adding the Martlet Light Missile on the… Read more »

TwinTiger
TwinTiger
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Thank you for the term ‘lilly-padding’ 🙂

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

These are great little ships coming into their own. They free up the higher end that had previously been tasked with showing the flag in the overseas territories and chasing pirates and in the Batch 2 we have assets with considerable potential for upgrading. The fear has been expressed that such upgrades might prejudic the Type 31 programme but with this not even off the ground it surely would be better to go back to plan A and produce 13 hulls based on Type 26 platform. The design, tooling and workforce are all in place and the extra 5 hulls… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

No, it won’t be cheaper to order anther 5 T26s!
The first 3 will cost £3.7Bn, so another 5 T26s costing a minimum of £5Bn, will total £13.7Bn, that will before the investment needed to increase capacity to build on the Clyde.
So with an All T26 frigate fleet you will end up with
£1Bn+ warships tied up escorting commercial shipping!
Alright 2 T23s are tied up escorting shipping in the Gulf, which could be done cheaper by corvettes with smaller crews.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hi Meirion. I was thinking in terms of seriously downgraded Type 26’s on the basis that steel is cheap but if you have the hull then you can add as and with and when. Saves operating two types plus as I said only five, if one takes into account all the design, tooling and setup costs must mean that each unit carries a very high fixed cost

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

At that point you might as well produce more Type 31’s: It’s cheaper to produce the existing light frigate design than try to redesign a high end ship into a light frigate.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff, The T31 frigate is supposedly receiving 2x 40mm Mk 4 bofors guns instead of Phalanx. I think this will be the first RN vessel to operate that. I’m kinda hoping they use an existing River class vessel to switch out its current gun for the bofors to get the RN up to speed with it, test it out on an existing platform before the T31 enters service. If it works out well, it would be good to know that the Rivers can handle a gun like that in future. Would be nice to give them a gun that… Read more »

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Thanks for that Matt. Would be a great test platform and also enhance the Rivers as is being mooted at present to give them a broader capability other than the Jolly Roger stuff. Still think the Type 31 project needs more than just 5 hulls to kick off-let’s hope there is interest from overseas

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Well.. apparently Poland were showing an interest in the T31, but that was pre Covid-19. I really hope there is interest from the outside for T31. T26 on the other hand is a huge export success already without a single hull in the water!
Another interesting question is what will happen to our outgoing T23 Duke class frigates? Sold as scrap or sold on to a foreign navy?
[email protected]

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

There seems to have been a ready market in the past for ex RN warships in South America, eastern Europe and Asia. I wonder if the last build, say four T 23’s could be kept in service for a few years as an overlap as the new frigates enter service to keep numbers up?

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Yes indeed, there seems to be a few of our old T22s still serving out there and some even older T21s too! It wouldn’t surprise me if those navies choose to update their fleets with our outgoing vessels. I suspect the last 23s that stay in RN service will either be the later builds or those that have had less ‘at sea’ days. Or maybe it will depend on what vessel is due to be commissioned next… i.e if a T26 is next to be commissioned, they’ll decommission an ASW T23 variant.. or if it’s a new T31, they’ll decommission… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

The MoD seemd to be giving last 6 of
T23(ASW)s, a full LIFEX, 7 T23s will not get a full refit with engine upgrade.
HMS Richmond is the first to receive the new upgraded diesel gens, HMS Somerset is still in LIFEX, and the next in line would be HMS Sutherland next year.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Thanks for that Mention. It almost sounds like the RN have a plan 😉
Where do you think the RN will go with regards to the Rivers?
[email protected]

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

If you mean the River batch 1s Matt, the MoD will keep them going to the end of decade, and then replace them with something suitable for fisheries protection.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I’d rather see the 76mm or 57mm on Rivers(& 5″ on the T31s), but the 40mm is loads better in terms of reach & clout for AAA & anti-missile, being lighter than Phalanx, twice the effective range & has complete traverse(360 c.f. 300 degrees)

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Is this website just a ‘copy and paste’ service for the media offices of BAE, Boeing etc?