The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a £20 million contract to buy equipment for the Royal Navy's 3 new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). The contract will enable BAE Systems to begin work on the engines & gearboxes, etc. that need to be ordered in advance.
During a visit to the company’s shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne announced that MOD has committed £20 million to the programme.
The OPVs will not only provide an additional capability for the UK but also, at its peak, the OPV programme will safeguard more than 800 vital skilled roles in the shipbuilding industry.
OPVs can be used to support counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the waters around the UK and other UK interests abroad.
Compared to the current River Class ships, the new OPVs will be larger, with more storage and accommodation facilities and a larger flight deck for Merlin helicopters.
The first OPV is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.
Pictured: Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, and Defence Minister Philip Dunne view a computer-generated image of the Royal Navy’s new OPV