Royal Navy Buys OPV to Patrol Falklands for GBP 30M
The U.K. Ministry of Defence today awarded a GBP 30 million contract to build a brand new warship to VT Group. The new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) is being acquired under an innovative Public-Private charter, including a logistic support contract that guarantees over 300 days at sea per year. Meeting that benchmark currently requires two Castle class ships; in contrast, the OPV is estimated to save over GBP 2 million in support costs over a seven year period. Production will begin in June, and the new OPV is scheduled to enter service in 2007.
The contract for a new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) will create 100 new jobs and sustain around 400 posts at VT’s Portsmouth shipbuilding facility. It will be the first warship to be launched at Portsmouth since the frigate HMS Andromeda in 1967.
Weighing in at 1,850 tonnes, the new OPV will have a crew of 34 (compared with 51 for the old Castle class ships) and be armed with a single 30mm gun. She will carry out patrol duties around the Falklands and their dependencies, and is able to accommodate a single light to medium sized helicopter up to the size of the Merlin EH101.