An RAF P8 Poseidon from RAF Lossiemouth has marked the commissioning of HMS Spey with a flypast.
The commissioning of the Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel also marked first flypast conducted by the RAFs newest Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Flying a route along the Cromarty Firth, the Poseidon opened the ceremony at HMS Speys affiliated town of Invergordon.
“As a 120 Squadron Royal Air Force crew flying the Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft, it was a privilege to support the commissioning of the Royal Navy’s newest patrol ship, HMS Spey. The two services share a strong relationship based on a common mission providing enduring maritime reconnaissance and patrol by air and by sea. I would like to offer our best wishes from the aircraft crew and all at 120 Squadron, to all that serve on board.”
Built on the River Clyde by BAE Systems, the ship is the fifth and final of the second-generation of River Class vessels built for the Royal Navy and sports a flight deck large enough for a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter and room on board for up to 50 embarked Royal Marines. The vessel is designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers.
The Poseidon’s comprehensive mission system features a high-resolution mapping radar, acoustic sensor systems, passive and multi-static sonobuoys an electro-optical/IR turret. Delivering a comprehensive search and tracking capability, while its weapons system includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.
As well as watching flypast, the 45 embarked crew and guests were entertained by the Band of the Royal Marines Scotland.
“The Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels are impressively flexible ships and are already making a real difference to current operations globally. As we speak, HMS Trent, HMS Forth and HMS Medway are providing sustained forward presence in some of the UK’s global areas of interest. The commissioning of Spey demonstrates a further development to the Royal Navy’s role in Global Britain where, later in the year in company with her sister ship Tamar, she will deploy to the Indo-Asian-Pacific region for the foreseeable future. Once deployed, they will work closely with allies and partners to support maritime security in the region.”
Rear Admiral Simon Asquith OBE
Royal Navy’s Commander Operations