Two River-Class offshore patrol vessels, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, departed San Diego for Hawaii after spending 6 days in port.
The pair arrived in San Diego on October 11th. They have been operating as Task Group 326.03, and will begin a new 5 year deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
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This port visit aligns with the operating doctrine outlined by the Royal Navy earlier this summer, as the task group will utilize “bases and ports in the Pacific region which best meets their needs and mission”.
— WarshipCam (@WarshipCam) October 18, 2021
Both ships are Batch 2 River-Class offshore patrol vessels, each armed with 1 Bushmaster 30 mm cannon, 2 Miniguns, and 2 General purpose machine guns. Additionally, both sport Merlin-capable flight decks.
According to the MoD:
“The crews will be joined by extra personnel – up to 52 Royal Marines or troops in a dedicated mess – or mission-specific equipment to deliver humanitarian aid or help with evacuations.”
The ships have been painted in a new ‘dazzle camouflage’ reminiscent of ship camouflages used extensively in World War I, and to a lesser extent in World War II and afterwards.
The mission comes on the heels of CSG 21’s visit to East Asia, during which it lead an international fleet into Chinese claimed waters. China has repeatedly warned British warships not to carry out any “improper acts”.
The deployment serves as a sign that tensions continue to increase in the region. Additionally, the Royal Navy is testing its ability to deploy ships for extended periods of time far from Britain.