U.K. Names Third River Class OPV in Glasgow
LONDON — Trent, the third of five new River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), was officially named during a March 13 ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Govan, Glasgow, as final preparations were made before it enters the water for the first time, the company said in a release.
To mark the occasion, employees and guests watched as Pamela Potts, Trent’s sponsor and wife of Vice Adm. Duncan Potts, named the vessel which will aid in a range of operations including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to secure the United Kingdom’s borders.
Potts released a bottle of gin from the Nelson’s Gin Distillery & Gin School in Stafford against the ship’s hull to officially name the vessel.
“This is another landmark moment for the River-class offshore patrol vessel program and an important day that honors the traditions of the Royal Navy,” said Iain Stevenson, managing director of BAE Systems Naval Ships. “Today is made even more special as we are able to see the full scale of Trent as she prepares to enter the water for the very first time in the next few days. This is yet another reminder of the importance of what we do.”
“As the third of five offshore patrol vessels being built in Scotland, HMS Trent will soon be part of a fleet of highly capable ships,” said Defence Minister Guto Bebb. “These new vessels will keep the U.K. safe by conducting counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and other vital maritime operations. U.K. Defense has invested in an unprecedented shipbuilding production line in Glasgow and the city’s shipyards with their 1,700 highly skilled engineers and technicians are benefiting from full order books for the next two decades.”
After the naming ceremony, Trent will be loaded onto an awaiting barge that will then lower it into the water before outfitting and systems installation. Trent is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the second half of the year.
In February, Forth, the first of five River-class OPVs, departed Glasgow and its birthplace on the Clyde, to make its way to homeport at Portsmouth Naval Base. This was a significant milestone in the program as Forth is the first completed complex warship to leave Glasgow since HMS Duncan in 2013.
The second in class, Medway, named in October, is set to depart for sea trials in the first half of this year. The fourth ship, Tamar, now is structurally complete while the final River-class OPV, Spey, is under construction at BAE Systems’ Govan yard.