HMS Clyde, a New Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) for the Royal Navy
HMS Clyde, the first ship to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base for
nearly 40 years, was named on Thursday 7 September 2006. The new OPV(H)
will be officially accepted by the British MOD in October 2006. The
vessel is destined to be the patrol ship for the Falkland Islands. She
is expected to deploy to the South Atlantic next Spring – around the
time of the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
One of the unique features of the ship is that she is owned by VT Group
and chartered to the Ministry of Defence for a period of five years. At
the end of that period, the MOD can either extend the charter, return
the ship or purchase her outright. Similar River Class vessels already
in service and built by VT. They are used for fishery protection work
around the UK coast.
Among the ship’s enhanced features compared to the River Class is a
flight deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new
Merlin aircraft. Other enhancements include increased accommodation to
cater for an embarked force, a 30mm gun, higher levels of survivability
and air surveillance radar.
HMS Clyde will accommodate a crew of 36 (six officers, nine senior rates
and 21 junior rates), berthed in single or twin berth cabins with en
suite facilities. There will be additional accommodation for up to 20
extra personnel, which could be an embarked military force, trainees or