HMS SPEY, the last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed and built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems, was named today in front of gathered VIPs and employees at an official ceremony in Glasgow.
In keeping with naval tradition, guests watched as Lady Johnstone, HMS SPEY’s sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull.
HMS SPEY is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow. With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.
David Shepherd, OPV Programme Director at BAE Systems said: “Today’s ceremony is a truly significant milestone for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and builds on our proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow. There has been fantastic momentum on this programme and the naming of HMS SPEY serves as a great reminder of the importance of the capability and skills of our employees who are working together with the Royal Navy and partners to deliver these important ships.”
Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters, and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS SPEY is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities.”
HMS SPEY will aid in a range of operations from counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling, to securing the UK’s borders to help keep Britain safe, making her a valuable addition to the Royal Navy fleet.
HMS FORTH and HMS MEDWAY, the first two ships in the class, are now in service with the Royal Navy.