Third Royal Navy OPV HMS Trent completes sea trials

HMS Forth and HMS Trent sail in formation during the trials. Photo: Royal Navy

HMS Trent, the third of the Royal Navy’s second-batch River-class offshore patrol vessels has completed her sea trials in the Firth of Clyde.

HMS Trent was put through her paces between Arran, Bute and Great Cumbrae – the same waters where her older sisters HMS Forth and Medway were tested by a mix of civilian sailors/engineers and ship’s company.

Due to be handed over to the Navy later this year for duties at home or abroad, Trent’s trials allowed her to test her main engineering systems and sensors – engines, water production, sewage and waste collection, electricity generation, radar and the like – and allows shipwrights to make tweaks and fix any problems once the ship returns to BAE’s yard at Scotstoun.

Future members of the ship’s company were invited to join Trent for the trials to get used to her systems and capabilities ready to operate and maintain it themselves once she formally joins the Fleet later this year – a big step closer thanks to the success of the maiden spell at sea.

HMS Forth is currently in Scotland being assessed by the Navy’s ultimate assessors, the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation. Its job is to ensure a ship and her men and women are in the right material and physical shape to withstand the rigors of a deployment.

Forth is earmarked to sail south to replace HMS Clyde as the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Falkland Islands/Britain’s South Atlantic territories (such as South Georgia).

She joined up with Trent briefly for combined maneuvers in the Firth of Clyde, launching her sea boat to record the event – the first time two of the ships have been seen in company together.

And not long after parting company, Forth was sailing in company with another new River-class vessel: HMS Medway as she prepares to make her first appearance in Portsmouth.

Medway is conducting some final trials and training off the Scottish coast, gradually edging her way southwards to her future home, where all the Rivers are based.

The new Rivers are designed for duties in home waters (safeguarding UK territory, intelligence gathering and keeping an eye on fishing stocks) and overseas (Falklands, Mediterranean, Far East, Caribbean) as a reassuring presence and upholder of international laws and security.

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