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Construction of new Royal Navy warship begins

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Defence Secretary Michael Fallon making the first steel cut on Royal navy's brand new ship. Photo: BAE Systems.

LONDON (BNS): Construction of the UK Royal Navy's second new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) has started marked by a ceremony led by Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, at BAE Systems in Glasgow on Monday.

The Secretary of State formally started construction of HMS MEDWAY, the second of three River Class Batch 2 vessels by operating the plasma steel-cutting machine, BAE Systems said in a statement.

"These new ships are an important part of the £160 billion we are investing over the next decade in the equipment our armed forces need..." the statement quoting the Defence Secretary said.

Construction of the first of class vessel HMS FORTH is well underway with its first unit transferred into the Ship Build Outfit Hall in Glasgow last week.

The vessel is now being assembled alongside the final sections of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier, which will be delivered to Rosyth during the course of this year.

The 90 metre OPV is based on a proven BAE Systems design, which is already in service with the Brazilian Navy and Royal Thai Navy. The OPVs will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol with a range of in excess of 5,000 nautical miles and a maximum speed of 24 knots, it said.

The vessels will include a modified flight deck capable of operating the latest Merlin helicopters, larger stores and more accommodation for embarked troops.

They will also be the first ships to be built with a BAE Systems designed operating system called Shared Infrastructure, which will be rolled out across the Royal Navy's surface fleet over the next 10 years.

Shared Infrastructure is a state-of-the-art system that will revolutionise the way ships operate by using virtual technologies to host and integrate the sensors, weapons and management systems that complex warships require, according to BAE Systems.

The manufacturing contract for the three ships was announced in August 2014 and construction of first of class HMS FORTH began in October 2014. The production of HMS TRENT, the third River Class ship, is expected to begin by the end of this year. The first ship is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.


UK  Navy  OPV  BAE Systems  Military  
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