Three of the Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) will be retained for at least two years to bolster the UK’s ability to protect its fishing fleet and its shores.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s order to retain HMS Tyne (pictured), HMS Mersey, and HMS Severn will give the Royal Navy the capability to deliver significantly more days of fishery protection in a year as well as strengthen its contributions in the areas of anti-smuggling and counter-terrorism operations.
The three vessels are each operationally available for 320 days a year.
Tyne, Mersey, and Severn all belong to the first batch of River-class OPVs and were originally scheduled to be decommissioned over a span of two years beginning in 2017.
Severn was decommissioned on October 27, 2017, but will now return to active service following Mr Williamson’s announcement.