, the first in a new generation of fishery protection vessels for the Royal Navy has been launched at Vosper Thornycroft’s Woolston, Southhampton, Shipyard.
HMS Tyne was launched by Lady Squire, wife of Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire
, Chief of the Air Staff, and is expected to be handed over to the Fishery Protection Squadron
(FPS) in November this year.
The 80 m. Offshore Patrol Vessel is one of three River Class ships that are being procured in an agreement that is believed to be unique in modern times.
Thought to b e the first time the RN has operated ships under such an agreement with private industry and at the end of the fie years the Ministry of Defense will have the option to extend the charter, hand the ships back or purchase them outright. During the initial five-year charter VT will also take on full support responsibility to ensure the ships fulfill their operational capability.
HMS Tyne and her sister ships utilize a double chine hull form and have been designed by VT assisted by Three Quays Marine. They will provide an improved seakeeping performance compared to the Island Class and a much higher grade of accommodation. Modular cabins pre-fabricated and outfitted by VT are single or two-berthand have en-suite facilities. The ships will have state-of-the-art machinery control systems supplied by VT Controls and the latest navigation and communication systems. They will also carry two Halmatic Pacific 22 MkII boarding and rescue boats and dedicated single-man operation davits and RIB tracking systems.
One of the major assets of the ship is a large working deck which can accommodate up to seven containers, enabling the ship to carry elements such as additional stores, workshops, minecountermeasure support containers, a diving recompression container or medical facilities. Alternatively, the space can be used to carry small vehicles or special forces equipment.
Although the RN role will focus mainly on fishery protection and protecting oil and gas installations around the British Isles, VT has designed an export version of the River Class which can be deployed in a a wide range of operational scenarios linked to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). These included assisting civilian authorities in case of disaster relief, anti-pollution, firefighting, rescue work or interception. A heavy crane with capacity for 25 tons fitted to handle standard containers.
In addition, the design has the flexibility to increase the overall length by means of a midship section to accommodate additional crew, facilities and/or equipment. By making special provision to put the ship’s propulsion and electrical machinery aft and all the normal crew accommodation in the forward section, this can be accomplished without any significant redesign, providing the user with a longer ship to meet his operational requirements. To address cost effectiveness further, measures have been taken to simplify construction, facilitating in country build for those countries with either an established or developing shipbuilding capability.