HMS Tyne (P281)

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HMS Tyne Leads Other Severn Class Fishery Patrol Vessels During Exercise MOD 45152274.jpg
HMS Tyne on exercise in 2011
United Kingdom
NameHMS Tyne
OrderedApril 2001
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Launched1 July 2002
Commissioned4 July 2003
Decommissioned24 May 2018
Recommissioned25 July 2018
StatusIn Active Service
General characteristics
Class and typeRiver-class patrol vessel
Displacement1,700 tonnes[1]
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
PropulsionTwo Ruston 12RK 270 diesel engines
Speed20 kn (37 km/h)
Range5,500 nmi (10,200 km)
Endurance21 days
Boats & landing
craft carried
2 × rigid inflatable boats

HMS Tyne is a River-class offshore patrol vessel built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton for the Royal Navy to serve as a fishery protection unit within the United Kingdom's waters along with her two sister ships Mersey and Severn. All three were commissioned into service in 2003 to replace the five older Island-class patrol vessels.

Tyne is the sixth Royal Navy ship to carry the name and was featured in the first episode of the BBC series Empire of the Seas, "How the Navy Forged the Modern World, Heart of Oak", presented by Dan Snow.


The first of her class, Tyne was built by Vosper Thornycroft at its Woolston, Southampton shipyard in 2001. Following construction, she was launched on 1 July 2002 with an expected handover to the Royal Navy's Fishery Protection Squadron by November.[2] By January 2003, she had completed the first stage of her sea trials in the Solent.[3]

The first three River-class ships Tyne, Severn and Mersey were the first ever privately-funded vessels received by the Royal Navy on charter.[2][4] They were chartered for five years, after which the Ministry of Defence could either purchase them outright or return them to VT.[4]

Operational history

Tyne made her first operational fishery protection patrol between January and February 2003.[5] In January 2004, having been on fishery protection duties, she helped coordinate a search and rescue following the capsizing of French fishing trawler Bugaled Breizh off the coast of Cornwall.[6]

In September 2012, the Royal Navy purchased Tyne and her sister ships Severn and Mersey, having previously operated them on lease.[7] They had a remaining service life of 11 years.[8]

Aside from her day-to-day fishery protection duties, Tyne has occasionally been called upon to undertake escort roles in the UK Area of Interest. Two such examples occurred in the autumn of 2016 when she was twice assigned to escort Russian warships through the English Channel.[9]

In March 2017, it was announced that Tyne would be manned by personnel usually assigned to Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels to allow her crew to transfer to the Batch 2 River-class HMS Forth in build in Glasgow.[10]

Decommissioning and reactivation

In March 2018, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Guto Bebb revealed that £12.7M had been allocated from the EU Exit Preparedness Fund to preserve Tyne and her two Batch 1 sister ships, should they be required to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.[11] In May 2018, the ship entered Portsmouth ahead of her pre-planned decommissioning, which was to take place on 24 May 2018. However, by July 2018, the ship was reportedly still flying the white ensign and therefore still in active service.[12] The Royal Navy subsequently clarified that a formal decommissioning ceremony had not taken place, confirming the ship was still commissioned, due to delays in the delivery of the ship's planned successor, HMS Forth.[12][13] On 22 November 2018, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson further clarified that Tyne and her two Batch 1 sister ships would be retained in service and forward-operated from their affiliated rivers.[14]


Tyne off the coast of Norfolk, England in May 2020.

Despite plans to station Tyne on her affiliated river, the ship remained base ported in Portsmouth as of February 2020.[15] Between 1 January 2014 and 30 September 2019, she had spent a total of 1,081 days at sea.[16] In December, she was tasked with shadowing Russian Navy Smolnyy-class training ship Perekop through the English Channel.[17]

In June 2021, Tyne, along with Northumberland and Tamar, was deployed off the Cornish coast to provide security for the 2021 G7 summit.[18]


Her affiliations included North Tyneside Council, St Catherines Primary School, Hadrian Special Needs Primary School, TS Caledonia (Peterhead Sea Cadets unit), TS Tyne (Newburn Sea Cadets unit), and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.


  1. "Offshore Patrol Vessels". BAE Systems. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "VT Launches New Fishery Protection Ship". Maritime Journal. 1 July 2002. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  3. "Navy News". Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "UK Report: VT Halmatic Takes Charge". MarineLink. 2 April 2003. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  5. "Fishing Patrols Defence written question – answered on 3rd July 2002". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  6. "Bugaled Briezh Defence written question – answered on 28th January 2004". TheyWorkForYou. 28 January 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  7. "Royal Navy: Ships". TheyWorkForYou. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  8. "Patrol Craft". TheyWorkForYou. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  9. "HMS Tyne escorts two Russian warships through Channel". Royal Navy. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  10. "Mine hunting crews go fishing to help new-generation patrol ships enter service". Royal Navy. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  11. Guto Bebb, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence (16 March 2018). "Ministry of Defence: Public Expenditure: Written question - 132371". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "HMS Tyne reactivated due to issues with replacement ship". UK Defence Journal. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  13. "HMS Tyne returns to service after being paid off in May". Save The Royal Navy. 31 July 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  14. "MoD lifts axe on three Royal Navy patrol ships to boost UK fishery protection". Southern Daily Echo. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  15. "Patrol Craft". TheyWorkForYou. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  16. "Navy: Fisheries". TheyWorkForYou. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  17. "British warship shadows Russian navy vessel in the English Channel". Sky News (in English). Retrieved 26 December 2019.

External links