HMS Severn (P282)

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HMS Severn on Exercise with the Fishery Protection Squadron MOD 45153650.jpg
HMS Severn, 2012
United Kingdom
NameHMS Severn
OrderedApril 2001
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Launched1 January 2003[1]
Commissioned31 July 2003
Decommissioned27 October 2017
Recommissioned30 June 2020
MottoFides invicta triumphat (Latin: Faith unconquered triumphs)
Nickname(s)"Lucky Severn", "Magnificent Severn"
Honours and
Algiers 1816, Belgian Coast 1914, Konigsberg action 1915, Norway 1940, Atlantic 1940–41, Sicily 1943, Aegean 1943
StatusIn active service
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class patrol vessel
Displacement1,700 t (1,700 long tons)[2]
Length79.5 m (260 ft 10 in)
Beam13.5 m (44 ft 3 in)
Draught3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Installed power4,125 kW (5,532 hp) at 1,000 rpm
Propulsion2 × Ruston 12RK 270 diesel engines
Speed20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi)
Endurance21 days
Boats & landing
craft carried
2 × RHIB

HMS Severn is a River-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy. Named after the River Severn, the ship is the first to bear the name in 56 years. She was built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton to serve primarily as a fishery protection unit within the United Kingdom's waters along with her two sister ships Mersey and Tyne. All three were commissioned into service in 2003 to replace the five older Island-class patrol vessels. The ship was decommissioned in 2017, but the Government decided to recommission her as part of Brexit preparedness, and the ship was therefore refitted in 2020.


Severn was built by Vosper Thorneycroft Shipbuilding at its shipyard in Woolston, Southampton. Following construction, she was launched on 1 January 2003 as the second vessel of her class. Along with her sister ships, she was among the first vessels to be privately-funded by industry and leased to the Royal Navy for five years. On expiry of this lease, the Royal Navy had the option to either purchase the vessels or return them to VT.[1] On 31 July 2003, Severn was commissioned into the Royal Navy in a ceremony attended by her Lady Sponsor Miss Vicky Anderson in Portsmouth.[3][4]

Operational history

Severn undertook her first fishery protection patrol in September 2003.[4] She was also affiliated with the Welsh city of Newport during the same month and awarded the Freedom of the City in June 2006.[5]

Between 2005 and 2006, Severn spent a total of 225 days at sea on fishery protection duties, her busiest year to date.[6]

In September 2012, Severn was purchased by the Royal Navy, along with her sister ships, after their leases had expired.[7]

HMS Severn in Bordeaux, France

In October 2014, it was announced that Severn would be the first River-class vessel to deploy overseas to take up the Atlantic Patrol Tasking North, a task traditionally assigned to a frigate or destroyer. Arriving in the Caribbean, Severn patrolled the waters of each British Overseas Territory in the region and was on standby to provide any support, ranging from disaster relief to tackling all forms of illicit trafficking.[8][9] The ship returned to Portsmouth on 16 July 2015, having visited all of the British Overseas Territories in the region.[10]

In December 2015, acting on intelligence from the British National Crime Agency and French DNRED, the ship intercepted the freighter MV Carib Palm off the south coast of the United Kingdom and escorted the ship to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France where it was searched by French customs. The search uncovered 2.4 tonnes (2,400 kg) of cocaine with a street value in excess of £350m.[11]

In April 2017, Severn was detached from fishery protection duties to escort the Russian Navy Ropucha-class landing ship Korolev through the English Channel.[12]

Decommissioning and reactivation

After making what was presumed to be her final visit to her affiliated town of Newport, Wales, Severn was decommissioned at HMNB Portsmouth on 27 October 2017.[13][14] In March 2018 — six months since decommissioning — the Ministry of Defence announced that £12.7 million had been allocated from the EU Exit Preparedness Fund to preserve Severn and her two sister ships, should they be required to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.[15] In November 2018, Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, confirmed that Severn and her sister ships would be reactivated and "forward operated" from their affiliated ports.[16]


Severn underwent a refit in May 2020 in preparation for her planned recommissioning.[17] Following this, she recommissioned on 30 June 2020.[18] Despite plans to forward-operate Severn from her affiliated port, the ship remained base ported in Portsmouth as of 4 February 2020.[19] After passing her Operational Sea Training (OST) assessment, Severn returned to operations in July 2020.[20] One of her first operational taskings since rejoining the fleet saw her shadowing Russian Navy destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov, corvette Vasily Bykov and their two support ships as they transited through the English Channel on 9 July 2020.[21]

On 6 May 2021, Severn was deployed to Jersey alongside HMS Tamar, another River-class OPV, after reports that fishing boats from France would blockade the ferry Commodore Goodwill from reaching the island at 6am.[22][23] This was part of a chain of events sparked by a new fishing licence scheme introduced by the Jersey authorities in alleged contravention of an agreement between the UK and the EU nations and without consultation with the French authorities.[24]



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Severn Turns the Tide of Naval Procurement". Maritime Journal. 1 January 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  2. "BAE Systems Offshore Patrol Vessels". Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  3. "Cheers as 'twin' joins the Fleet". South Wales Argus. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Red Letter Day for Severn IX". Navy News. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  5. "Freedom of the City for HMS Severn" (PDF) (Press release). Newport City Council. 19 June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  6. "Patrol Craft". Hansard. Parliament UK. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  7. "Royal Navy: Ships". TheyWorkForYou. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  8. "HMS Severn Readies for New Mission by Training with her Sister HMS Tyne". Royal Navy. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  9. "Severn readies for new mission by training with her sister Tyne". Navy News. Royal Navy. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  10. Anderson, Stuart (16 July 2015). "HMS Severn set to return home to Portsmouth". The News (Portsmouth). Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  11. "Severn helps seize 2.4 tonnes of cocaine". 15 December 2015. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  12. "HMS Severn escorts Russian landing ship through English Channel". 25 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  13. "Royal Navy HMS Severn which is twinned with Newport will visit city for last time - and her crew will march through our streets". South Wales Argus. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  14. "HMS Severn decommissions after 14 years of service". Royal Navy website. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  15. "Ministry of Defence: Public Expenditure:Written question - 132371". Hansard. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  16. "MoD lifts axe on three Royal Navy patrol ships to boost UK fishery protection". Daily Echo. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  17. "A&P group defence - A&P Falmouth" (PDF). A&P group defence - A&P Falmouth. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  18. "HMS Severn Re-Commissioned Into Royal Navy After Nearly Three Years". Forces news. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  19. "Patrol Craft". TheyWorkForYou. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  20. "HMS Severn Returns to Operations". Royal Navy. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  21. Doherty-Cove, Jody (9 July 2020). "HMS Severn escorts Russian warship past Brighton's shoreline". The Argus. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  22. "UK Royal Navy ships patrolling Jersey amid fishing row with France". BBC News. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  23. Lowe, Christian (6 May 2021). "Britain withdraws patrol boats from waters off Jersey after post-Brexit fishing row". The Globe and Mail. Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  24. Boffey, Daniel (6 May 2021). "France threatens to cut off power to Jersey in post-Brexit fishing row". Guardian . Retrieved 6 May 2021.

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