The offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), which will be used by the Royal Navy to undertake various tasks in support of UK interests both at home and abroad, will be built at BAE Systems’ shipyards in Glasgow, informs the UK Ministry of Defence.
Featuring a redesigned flight deck to operate the latest Merlin helicopters as well as increased storage and accommodation facilities, the OPVs build on the proven capability of the Royal Navy’s current River-Class vessels.
Announcing the contract, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
"UK warships are only built in UK shipyards. This multi-million-pound contract shows our commitment to investing in new ships for the Royal Navy and maintaining in the UK the expertise needed to build the warships of the future. It will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow.
"This sort of investment by the UK government is vital for the sustainment of shipbuilding in the city and the hundreds of specialist manufacturing and engineering roles that play an important role in providing war-fighting capability for the Royal Navy."
Having played an important role in the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was named by the Queen in a ceremony last month, workers on the Clyde are now manufacturing blocks for the second aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales, which is being assembled at Rosyth dockyard near Edinburgh.
Work on the OPVs will help sustain skilled jobs on the Clyde and support BAE Systems’ work to improve the efficiency of shipbuilding operations.
MOD adds that the first OPV is expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017.
PIctured: River Class patrol vessels HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey exercising off the coast of Cornwall.