HMS Clyde (P257)

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HMS Clyde MOD 45158399.jpg
Clyde exercising off the Falklands, 2014
United Kingdom
NameHMS Clyde
BuilderVT Shipbuilding
Laid down2005
Launched14 June 2006
Sponsored byMrs Lesley Dunt, wife of Vice Admiral Peter Dunt (Retired)
Commissioned30 January 2007
Decommissioned20 December 2019
RenamedRBNS Al-Zubara
HomeportHMNB Portsmouth
  • Clwo
  • "Strength"
FateTransferred to Royal Bahrain Naval Force on 7 August 2020.
BadgeHMS Clyde's crest
NameRBNS Al-Zubara
NamesakeAl Zubarah
Acquired7 August 2020
StatusAwaiting complete transfer
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class patrol vessel
Displacement1,850[2] to 2,000 tonnes.[3][4]
Length81.5 m (267 ft 5 in)[2]
Beam13.5 m (44 ft 3 in)[2]
PropulsionTwo Ruston 12RK 270 engines developing 4,125 kW (5,532 hp) at 1,000 rpm
Speed21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)[2]
Range5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi)[1]
Endurance21 days[1]
Boats & landing
craft carried
Aviation facilitiesMerlin-capable flight deck[2]

HMS Clyde (pennant number P257) was an offshore patrol vessel and was the tenth Royal Navy vessel to carry the name. She was launched on 14 June 2006 in Portsmouth Naval Base by VT Group shipbuilders in Portsmouth, England, and is the fourth vessel of the River class, with a displacement of 2,000 tonnes and a 30 mm Oerlikon KCB gun in place of the 20 mm gun fitted to Tyne River-class ships. Clyde was decommissioned on the 20 December 2019 at HMNB Portsmouth and was returned to her owners at BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships, [5] although the ship remained under lease from BAE Systems to the Royal Navy until the end of March 2020.[6] In August 2020 Clyde was transferred to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Operational history

HMS Clyde at anchor in Fox Bay, West Falkland, July 2011

Clyde was the first ship built entirely in Portsmouth Naval base for 40 years and has been constructed alongside the bow and superstructure sections for the new Type 45 destroyers Daring and Dauntless. She was named in a ceremony on 7 September 2006 as she had not received a traditional launching ceremony.[7]

HMS Clyde was commissioned into the Royal Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval base on 30 January 2007.[8]

After being commissioned into active service Clyde was sent to the South Atlantic to relieve HMS Dumbarton Castle as the Royal Navy's patrol vessel in the area based in the Falkland Islands. Unlike predecessors in this role Clyde stayed in South Atlantic waters, with a contract in place for her to remain in the Falkland Islands until 2018.

In January 2011, the government of Brazil denied HMS Clyde access to Rio de Janeiro in solidarity with Argentinian claims over the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute,[9][10] as Uruguay had done with HMS Gloucester the previous September.

On 18 November 2015, Clyde assisted in the rescue of 347 passengers and crew from the cruise ship Le Boreal drifting off the Falkland Islands after an engine room fire. At 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph), it took Clyde four hours to reach the stricken ship, which was off the north end of Falkland Sound. Clyde resupplied one of the two larger lifeboats with fuel and took on people from the smaller lifeboats, and then escorted them to Falkland Sound, where they transferred the passengers to Le Boreal's sister ship, L'Austral.[11]

In January 2017, Clyde was dry docked in Simonstown, South Africa for maintenance;[12] her patrol duties were temporarily transferred to survey ship HMS Enterprise. On 21 September, Clyde celebrated ten years in the South Atlantic with her only time off station being the maintenance periods in South Africa.[13] In November, Clyde was redeployed from a patrol of South Georgia to assist in the search for the missing Argentinian submarine ARA San Juan.[14]

End of Royal Navy service

A parliamentary briefing paper released in October 2016 stated that Clyde would leave service in 2017;[15] however on 24 April 2017, in a written answer to a question raised by Sir Nicholas Soames, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Harriet Baldwin stated Clyde would be decommissioned in 2019.[16] Clyde was due to be replaced by the Batch 2 ship HMS Forth in 2018.[17] However, later than originally planned, Forth relieved Clyde in late 2019. Clyde returned to Portsmouth after an absence 12 years on 20 December 2019 and was decommissioned on the same day.[18][19]

Clyde was rumoured to be taken over by Brazil once the Royal Navy lease expired.[20] However, this was denied by the Brazilian Navy, with BAE Systems taking back possession of the ship at the end of the Royal Navy's lease.[21]

Transfer to Bahrain

RBNS Al-Zubara transits the Bab el-Mandeb strait, November 2020

On 7 August 2020 it was announced in a ceremony held at the HMNB Portsmouth Naval Base in the UK, that Clyde had been transferred to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, with the ship renamed as RBNS Al-Zubara.[22][23] The ceremony was held in the presence of the Bahraini Ambassador to the UK and representatives of BAE Systems.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Offshore Patrol Vessels". BAE Systems. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Bush, Steve (2014). British Warships and Auxiliaries. Maritime Books. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-1904459552.
  3. Colledge, J. J. (2010). Ships of the Royal Navy. Casemate Publishers. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-61200-027-5.
  4. "HMS Clyde". Royal Navy. Retrieved 8 June 2014. At just over 2,000 tonnes displacement, she may not be the biggest ship in the Navy, but this is certainly made up for in capability.
  5. "HMS Clyde's last drive home for Christmas". Royal Navy. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  6. "Rumours Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Clyde will be sold to Brazil are defunct". 30 December 2019.
  7. "New ship named HMS Clyde". Royal Navy. 8 September 2006. Archived from the original on 8 September 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
  8. "HMS Clyde to Be Accepted Into the Royal Navy". Royal Navy. January 2006. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2007.
  9. "Brasil le prohibió amarrar en Río a un buque británico de Malvinas". Infobae (in español). 9 January 2011. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  10. Niebieskikwiat, Natasha (7 January 2011). "Brasil le prohibió el ingreso a un buque de guerra británico". Clarín (in español). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  11. "Clyde helps 200 cruise ship passengers after Falklands fire". Navy News. 20 November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  12. "Clyde's high and dry as she's out of the water for the first time in five years". Royal Navy. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  13. "Thank you for a decade HMS Clyde". Penguin News. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  14. Bunkall, Alistair (21 November 2017). "Argentina's missing submarine: Key questions on disappearance of ARA San Juan". Sky News. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  15. Brooke-Holland, Louisa (2 February 2017). The Royal Navy's new frigates and the National Shipbuilding Strategy (PDF) (Technical report). House of Commons Library. 7737. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  16. Harriett Baldwin, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence (24 April 2017). "Warships and Submarines: Decommissioning: Written question – 71203". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons.
  17. "Falklands' new patrol vessel starts her long journey to the South Atlantic". MercoPress. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  18. "HMS Clyde's last Liberation Day in the Falklands". Royal Navy. 5 July 2019.
  19. Foreward Presence by OPVs Ships Monthly March 2020 page 15
  20. Allison, George (3 December 2018). "Brazil to take over HMS Clyde once Royal Navy lease expires". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  21. Cotterill, Tom (30 December 2019). "Rumours Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Clyde will be sold to Brazil are defunct". The News. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  22. W, Steve (7 August 2020). "Bahrain receives patrol warship "RBNS Al-Zubara"". Bahrain News Agency. (WHQ). Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  23. W, Steve (8 August 2020). "HMS Clyde sold to Bahrain". UK Defence Journal. (George Allison). Retrieved 8 August 2020.

External links