HMS Forth (P222)

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HMS Forth formally gets commissioned into the Royal Navy 13042018 MOD 45164104.jpg
United Kingdom
NameHMS Forth
OperatorRoyal Navy
OrderedAugust 2014
BuilderBAE Systems Naval Ships
Laid down10 October 2014 (Steel cut)
Launched20 August 2016
Sponsored byRachel Johnstone-Burt
Christened9 March 2017
Commissioned13 April 2018[1]
HomeportHMNB Portsmouth
Motto"Go Forth and conquer"
StatusForward Deployed to the Falkland Islands
General characteristics
Class and typeBatch 2 River-class patrol vessel
Displacement2,000 tonnes
Length90.5 m (296 ft 11 in)[2]
Beam13 m (42 ft 8 in)
Draught3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Speed25 kn (46 km/h)
Range5,500 nmi (10,200 km)
Endurance35 days
Boats & landing
craft carried
Two rigid inflatable boats
Troops50 Royal Marines
Complement34 minimum
Crew60 on rotation
Aircraft carriedMerlin capable flight deck

HMS Forth is a Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel in active service with the Royal Navy. Named after the River Forth, she is the first Batch 2 River-class vessel to be built. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 13 April 2018, following a commissioning ceremony at her homeport HMNB Portsmouth. As of January 2020, she replaced HMS Clyde as the Falklands Patrol ship.[3]


On 6 November 2013, it was announced that the Royal Navy had signed an agreement in principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels based on the River-class design similar to the larger Amazonas-class corvette derivative built at a fixed price of £348 million, including spares and support. In August 2014, BAE Systems signed a contract to build the ships on the River Clyde in Scotland. The ships, which were designated Batch 2 of the River-class, were to be globally-deployable and capable of carrying out constabulary tasks, such as counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling. As the first ship of the new batch, Forth, included some 29 modifications and enhancements over the baseline Amazonas design.[4]

Steel was first cut for Forth on 10 October 2014 at BAE Systems' Govan shipyard in Glasgow.[2] She was launched in September 2016, being floated off a semi-submersible barge in the Clyde rather than receiving a traditional dynamic launch.[5] After launch, she was moved down the Clyde for fitting out at BAE Systems' Scotstoun shipyard. She was christened at a ceremony at Scotstoun on 9 March 2017.[6] In late March 2017, it was announced that the crew of Batch 1 vessel HMS Tyne would be transferred to Forth to bring her into service.[7]

On 31 August 2017, Forth sailed for contractor sea trials.[8] It was reported in October 2017 that Forth had been earmarked to replace HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands guardship.[9]

It was announced on 25 January 2018 that Forth had been accepted by the Ministry of Defence from BAE Systems and would shortly sail to HM Naval Base Portsmouth for commissioning.[10] She arrived in Portsmouth for the first time on 26 February 2018.[11]

Operational history

Commissioning and early faults

Forth was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 13 April 2018 following a ceremony at HMNB Portsmouth.[12]

Soon after her commissioning, some faults were identified with her electrical system and sheared bolts were also discovered with heads that had been glued back on. In June 2018, it was announced that Forth would be entering dry dock for major rectification work which was likely to take more than three months. The Royal Navy reactivated HMS Tyne to cover planned patrols by Forth with BAE Systems covering the additional costs.[13][14] In October, Anderson Smith, BAE Systems Commercial Director – Naval Ships, admitted that "minor defects" had been found but announced that they had since been fixed.[15]

In June 2019, Forth underwent Operational Sea Training in British waters in preparation for her first operational deployment.[16] She later sailed from Liverpool to escort a Russian Navy patrol ship which was transiting through the UK's area of interest.[17] She then made her inaugural fishery protection patrol and her first visit to an overseas port, which was to Gibraltar before, once again, escorting the same Russian ship through the English Channel.[18]

Falkland Islands

On 13 January 2020, Forth arrived at the East Cove Military Port in the Falkland Islands on her first operational deployment, taking over from her older sister ship Clyde as the permanently-stationed guardship.[19] Prior to her arrival, she exercised with Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 interceptors to trial how the platforms could operate together. As part of her deployment, Forth was on standby to assist the island's authorities in anything from ceremonial events to emergencies.[20] Her support also extended to the nearby South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.[21] The arrival of Forth stoked the ongoing Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina with Argentina's Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, Andres Dachary, condemning the deployment as a violation of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone.[22] On April 21, 2021, Forth traveled to the island of Tristan da Cunha and delivered enough of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for the island's entire population to be completely vaccinated.[23]



  1. Cotterill, Tom (13 April 2018). "Portsmouth to welcome a new warship into service today". The News. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "First steel cut on new patrol ships". UK Government. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  3. "Forth Age Starts as New Patrol Ship Begins Work in Falklands". Royal Navy. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  4. Philip DunneMinister for Defence Procurement (20 October 2014). "Patrol Craft: Written question - 210211". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons.
  5. "Royal Navy's new offshore patrol vessel lowered into the water". Royal Navy. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  6. "The Forth is with us - the first of five new patrol ships is named on the Clyde". Royal Navy. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  7. "Mine hunting crews go fishing to help new-generation patrol ships enter service". Royal Navy. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  8. "The Forth is with us - Navy's new patrol ship makes her debut at sea". Royal Navy. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  9. "Make way for Medway as second new patrol ship is named". Royal Navy. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  10. "New navy warship accepted by Defence Minister". UK Government. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  11. "HMS Forth welcomed to her home port of Portsmouth". Royal Navy. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  12. "HMS Forth Officially Commissioned into the Royal Navy". Royal Navy. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  13. Allison, George (16 June 2018). "HMS Tyne to be reactivated as now delayed Offshore Patrol Vessel fleet faults worse than feared". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  14. Haggerty, Angela; Whitaker, Andrew (13 May 2018). "Second clyde-built Navy vessel found with 'glued bolts' as repairs continue on HMS Forth". The Herald. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  15. "Costs, controversy and context. Update on the Royal Navy's new OPVs". 25 October 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  16. "Three New Navy Patrol Ships Pass Milestones". Royal Navy. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  17. "Royal Navy Warship Shadows Russian Patrol Ship". Royal Navy. 27 June 2019.
  18. "Another First for Forth as Patrol Ship Debuts in Gibraltar". Royal Navy. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  19. "Lima Charlie: What Is The Future Of HMS Forth In The Falkland Islands?". Forces News. 31 January 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  20. "Forth Age Starts as New Patrol Ship Begins Work in Falklands". Royal Navy. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  21. "HMS Forth arrives in Falklands to assume guardship duties". UK Defence Journal. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  22. "Patrullero británico en el Atlántico sur: la reacción argentina y una altanera respuesta" (in español). Noticas de Plottier. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  23. Adams, Paul (29 April 2021). "Covid: How the UK has been getting jabs to remote territories". Retrieved 29 April 2021.

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