New Royal Navy Ship Named in Glasgow
LONDON — A new Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) has been named in Scotland, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in an Oct. 20 release. The 90-meter ship, which will deploy across the globe on counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations, was formally named HMS Medway by its sponsor, Lady Wendy Fallon, in a ceremony at the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow.
“This year we have already named our second aircraft carrier, two Type 26 frigates and the first in the Offshore Patrol Vessel class,” said Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. “It is a privilege to see yet another ship named for the growing Royal Navy. Named after Kent’s main river, my family has taken a particular interest in HMS Medway over the course of its construction and this is a proud day for all involved. From counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to securing the UK’s borders, HMS Medway will help keep Britain safe.”
HMS Medway is the second of the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels.
The work to build the ship, along with its four sister ships, is sustaining approximately 800 Scottish jobs at BAE Systems and is maintaining vital skills needed to build the new Type 26 Frigates — the first of which, HMS Glasgow, currently is under construction across the Clyde in Govan.
Medway is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2019, with all of the new Batch 2 River class OPVs expected to be in service before the end of 2020. The first of class, HMS Forth, is currently on sea trials.
Lady Fallon, wife of Defence Secretary Fallon whose Sevenoaks constituency is bordered by the river, broke a bottle of gin on the bow in honor of the Chatham dockyard, where the gin was distilled.
The 10th Royal Navy vessel to bear the name since the 1690s, HMS Medway is officially affiliated with the Medway district through an association with the local council.
“It is wonderful to see the Royal Navy’s newest ship christened with a name steeped in maritime history,” Vice Adm. Jonathan Woodcock, second Sea Lord and deputy chief of Naval Staff, said. “As an island nation, the sea is Britain’s frontline. HMS Medway and her four sister ships will form the first line of our defense, protecting the security of our home waters and upholding the sovereignty of our overseas territories.”
Displacing around 2,000 tons, the ship has a maximum speed of around 24 knots and can sail 5,500 nautical miles without having to resupply. It is equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter, and manned by a crew of 58 Sailors.