River class patrol vessels bought for £39m
13 September 2012
The Royal Navy's River class patrol vessels have been bought outright by the Ministry of Defence for £39m, it has been announced.
HMS Tyne, Severn and Mersey had been leased to the UK by BAE Systems since being commissioned into the fleet in 2003. The lease was due to come to an end in 2013.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond first publicised plans to purchase the ships in May after announcing that the Ministry of Defence's equipment budget
had been brought into balance. The three are now expected to remain operational for at least another ten years.
"These three ships represent an essential UK capability in protecting UK waters and safeguarding our maritime interests," said Hammond.
"Buying these vessels is a shrewd move by the MoD and is another example of the department pro-actively renegotiating contracts and making decisions to benefit our armed forces and the taxpayer. This contract not only saves money in the long term but ensures the Royal Navy is able to continue to conduct a wide range of operations to protect the UK."
Commander Graham Lovatt, head of the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron, said: "The River-class offshore patrol vessels have repeatedly proven themselves to be extremely capable ships.
"With maritime security and fishery protection roles, they play a vital part in protecting the nation's interests close to home.
"I am very pleased that the MoD has secured their continued use."
HAVE YOUR SAY
13 September 2012
These ships are a welcome addition but now need to be brought up to the same standard as the batch 2 boat (HMS Clyde), i.e. with a helicopter pad & increased armaments so that they can properly protect our North Sea oil & gas assets.
14 September 2012
Agreed with the bringing up to Clyde standards. Also, if current staffing allows (though sounds like its not) another couple of these very useful vessels should be ordered.
Mind though, its not like we now have more vessels in the Fleet.
Anon - Abroad