I am pleased to announce that the two additional offshore patrol vessels that we committed to build in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review will be named HMS Tamar and HMS Spey. The construction of the first, HMS Tamar, formally began today.
These names follow the River Class nomenclature of the Royal Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel fleet and continue the tradition of recognising the service, history and battle honours of earlier ships of the name.
Since 1758, six ships have been named after the River Tamar in south-west England, and battle honours were won for Burma 1824-25 and Ashantee 1873-74. Most recently, HMS Tamar was the name of the Royal Navy’s shore establishment in Hong Kong until 1997.
Since 1814, seven ships have been named after the River Spey in north-east Scotland, and battle honours were won for the Atlantic 1940-43, North Africa 1942-43 and Burma 1944-45. The most recent ship, a minesweeper, left service in 1998.
These new 2,000 tonne ships, together with the three already in build, will deliver a more modern and capable fleet, supporting our destroyers and frigates in delivering their tasking, as well as enhancing our contribution to maritime security and fisheries protection.