Royal Navy HMS Tamar (P233) has arrived in her home port of Portsmouth for the first time, becoming the fourth of five new offshore patrol vessels to be delivered from Glasgow shipyards and the most environmentally friendly since the age of sail. HMS Tamar will now spend time on tests and trials allowing her crew to become acquainted with her before they begin operational sea training together. In the meantime, the crew are ready to assist the Government as part of Defence’s contribution to tackling the coronavirus epidemic if called upon.
The ship is the first of batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel class to have a urea filter installed which will reduce damaging diesel exhaust emissions by about 90%. HMS Tamar’s other sisters are already taking on vital maritime security work, with HMS Forth patrolling the Falkland Islands and HMS Medway in the Caribbean. She and her sisters are larger, faster and able to stay at sea for longer than many comparable vessels. She carries a 30mm main cannon, can conduct helicopter operations and can embark up to 50 personnel, in addition to about 40 crew.
HMS Tamar is a Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy currently undergoing Sea Trials as of November 2019. Named after the River Tamar, she will be the fourth Batch 2 River-class vessel to be commissioned. Five refined River Class OPVs were ordered in 2014 to supplement those already in the Fleet. The final vessel, HMS Spey, is in fitting-out on the Clyde and will also be based in Portsmouth. Tamar includes some 29 modifications and enhancements over the Amazonas-class corvette built by BAE Systems for the Brazilian Navy.
The River class is a class of offshore patrol vessels built primarily for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. A total of nine were built for the Royal Navy (RN); four Batch 1 and five of the significantly different Batch 2. One modified Batch 1 (HMS Clyde) has been decommissioned leaving eight vessels planned for RN service from 2020. The Batch 1 ships of the class replaced the seven ships of the Island class and the two Castle-class patrol vessels. HTMS Krabi was the first of two ships adapting the River design for the Royal Thai Navy and built in Thailand. The three ships of the Amazonas-class corvette in service with the Brazilian Navy are also a variation of the River design.