UK Awards $400M in Maintenance Contracts for Royal Navy River-Class Patrol Fleet

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded contracts totaling 320 million pounds ($398 million) to extend maintenance support for the Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol vessels.

“Offshore Patrol Vessels are some of the busiest in the Royal Navy, performing all manner of important duties around the world,” UK Defence Equipment & Support Cmdr. Steve McCarthy stated.

“Maximising their availability is therefore essential, and we are delighted to have been able to secure high-quality in-service support for both batches for years to come.”

Enabling River-Class Availability

Around 70 million pounds ($87 million) was awarded to BAE Systems to maintain the first-generation vessels, including the HMS Tyne, Severn, and Mersey, through 2028.

Works for the three sister patrol ships will be conducted in the UK and overseas if needed.

“This contract extension is testament to the hard work and dedication of BAE Systems in supporting Royal Navy OPVs for the past 20 years,” BAE Systems Asset Management Head Dean Kimber said.

“We are pleased to continue our work supporting OPV Batch 1 enabling high availability of the ships as they carry out their vital roles protecting UK waters.”

Providing ‘Highest Standards of Service’

The remaining 250 million pounds ($311 million) was awarded to UK Docks Marine Services to support the second-generation River-class vessels, including the HMS Forth, Medway, Trent, Tamar, and Spey.

The contract will sustain the batch until 2031 and is expected to create 30 jobs in the Tyneside-based company and an additional 100 among the firm’s subcontractors.

UK Docks will provide associated services for the second group at international facilities and bases where the vessels are currently deployed.

Library Image: The three River-class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron, HMS Mersey, HMS Severn and HMS Tyne (foreground) exercising off the coast of Cornwall. FIRST STEEL CUT ON £348 MILLION ROYAL NAVY WARSHIP CONTRACT Steel was cut today for the first of three new Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) at a ceremony in Glasgow attended by the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Materiel. The vessels, which will be used by the Royal Navy to undertake various tasks in support of UK interests both at home and abroad, will be built at BAE Systems’ shipyards in a contract that has protected more than 800 Scottish jobs.
The first-generation River-class patrol vessels: HMS Mersey, HMS Severn and HMS Tyne. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

“We are delighted to have secured this major contract, which is the culmination of several years’ work showing UK Docks can deliver the highest standards of service and professionalism the Royal Navy requires for the maintenance of its vessels,” UK Docks Managing Director Jonathan Wilson stated.

“We also see the awarding of this contract as a resounding vote of confidence in homegrown British industry, skills and capability and we look forward to putting those resources at the service of these five important vessels.”

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