Offshore Patrol Vessels


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The RN has had 'Unofficial' Chinese on board for ages, dhobi-wallahs, barbers, sew-sew, cobblers etc etc.
[ The last time I spoke to a cook.chef aboard an RFA he was running the bar, and said "I'm not a civilian, I'm a merchant seaman".


Correct, they are. And what do we use RFA’s for?
Anti piracy, drug busting, civil assistance, regional standing patrols......OPV type stuff.


With limited manpower what else can we do with her? I am not entirely sure what Brazil will do with her. Clyde is slightly larger than the other batch ones, has a flight deck and landing aids, and a communications fit (and accommodation) to work with the infantry company on roulement in the Falklands.

Some of the comments are interesting:

The RN needs a class of 1000 tonners with 25kts too.

What for? What capability can you into a 1000 tonne hull and be capable of 35 knots?


Medway makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials | Royal Navy

This bit might be noteworthy: The Automated Small Calibre Gun, the 30mm cannon on the forecastle, fired rounds at a ‘killer tomato’ inflatable target with impressive accuracy and the off-ship fire monitors tested correctly.

Is it simply a case of no other small calibre weapon being available, or was it a deliberate move to give them a weapon* that has a realistic chance of killing FIAC types targets?

*The ASCG/DS30M Mk2 includes not only the gun, but electro optical trackers and a computer system to fire the rounds where the target will be by the time the round gets there.

Got a picture of Medway while out with SWMBO and the lad. They used to park the 45's in the same spot, the River is tiny in comparison.


According to the Telegraph, the RN has been asked to provide an OPV (Mersey has been named) to augment Border Force channel patrols, and additionally ' dozens' of sailors are needed in addition to Mersey's crew.


I wonder if it would be worth looking at some other policies, very much related to maritime things, that I have started threads about.

1. National strategy for maritime security

The national strategy for maritime security (NSMS) outlines the UK’s approach to delivering maritime security at home and internationally by explaining how we organise and use our extensive national capabilities to identify, assess and address maritime security challenges. The strategy outlines 5 objectives:
  • to promote a secure international maritime domain and uphold international maritime norms
  • to develop the maritime governance capacity and capabilities of states in areas of strategic maritime importance
  • to protect the UK and the Overseas Territories, their citizens and economies by supporting the safety and security of ports and offshore installations and Red Ensign Group (REG) flagged passenger and cargo ships
  • to assure the security of vital maritime trade and energy transportation routes within the UK Marine Area, regionally and internationally
  • to protect the resources and population of the UK and the Overseas Territories from illegal and dangerous activity, including serious organised crime and terrorism
The linked (downloadable) documents outline the number of agencies involved in UK maritime security and include a picture of the UK maritime area/EEZ.

An increased number of OPVs will improve maritime domain awareness in home waters, and contribute to deterrence. It would be interesting to see a list of possible OPV roles, based on the core capability of intercepting and boarding vessels.

2. Maritime 2050: navigating the future

This strategy sets out the government’s vision and ambitions for the future of the British maritime sector. Maritime 2050 is about anticipating the challenges and opportunities ahead and recognising the UK’s strengths so we are well placed to capitalise on them.

Our ambitions and goals will be achieved by focusing on the following 7 themes:
  • UK competitive advantage
  • technology
  • people
  • environment
  • infrastructure
  • trade
  • security

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