The last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed and built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems has been named at an official ceremony.

'HMS Spey'

'HMS Spey' will aid in a range of operations. Image: BAE Systems

Built in Glasgow, the 2000t 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.

David Shepherd, OPV programme director at BAE Systems, said that the “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”.

He added: “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.”

With construction starting on the first of the five ships 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.

HMS Forth and HMS Medway, the first two ships in the class, are now in service with the Royal Navy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK defence minister, 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.”

By Rebecca Jeffrey