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Island Class Overseas Patrol Vessels (OPV)

The fishermen value the efforts made on their behalf by the Royal Navy. The squadron enjoys the most excellent relations with the fishing industry and fishermen alike. As of 1996 there were nine vessels in the squadron. Six were purpose-built Island class offshore patrol vessels, which do the job extremely well, and three were Hunt class mine counter-measures vessels, seconded from their parent MCM squadron.

Seven of these lightly armed patrol vessels were built by Hall Russel of Aberdeen between 1975 and 1979. They formed the backbone of the Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) for fisheries and oilfield protection duties in the waters around the British Isles, and also to patrol the 200 mile fisheries limit. The hull is essentially a modified trawler design, and this has made these vessels exceptionally seaworthy. Each one of this class is named after one of the UK offshore islands, and two predecessors of the Island class, the Scottish Department of Fisheries vessels Jura and Westra shared the same basin hull design, and were essentially very similar.

Three River Class Overseas Patrol Vessels (OPV) replaced the Island Class OPV capability by early 2004. The remaining Island Class OPVs are scheduled to be withdrawn from service having reached their end of service lives. The three River class vessels which replaced the six Island class vessels in 2003-04, were leased by MOD to provide the majority of Fishery Protection duties for DEFRA. The Rivers, like the Island class before, are contracted to provide 70 per cent. of the total annual patrol day requirement. Subject to the satisfactory outcome of detailed discussions with the preferred bidder, Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd., by April 2001 the Ministry of Defence expected to be in a position to place a contract for the lease of three future Offshore Patrol Vessels to progressively replace the Island Class vessels from September 2002. Because of their higher availability, the three replacement FOPVs will provide identical fishery protection patrol frequency and duration to that which is currently carried out by the five Island Class vessels.

The five surplus Island Class vessels have been sold to Bangladesh. Angelsey's transfer was delayed by about two weeks due to problems with her gearbox. There was no delay to the planned transfer of Lindisfarne and Guernsey.

Ship Pennant
Number
Builder Laid
Down
Launch Comm
Jersey P295 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
??? 1976 15 Oct 1976 Sold to Bangladesh, renamed Shaheed Rahul Amin.
Orkney P299 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
?? 29 Jun 1976 Feb 1977 30 Apr 1999 sold to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF), renamed TTS Nelson (CG20)
Shetland P298 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
1975 22 Oct 1976 14 Jul 1977
Guernsey P297 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
14 May 1976 17 Feb 1977 28 Oct 1977
Lindisfarne P300 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
1976 01 Jun 1977 03 Mar 1978
Anglesey P277 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
06 Feb 1978 18 Oct 1978 01 Jun 1979
Alderney P278 Hall
Russell
(Aberdeen)
11 Jun 1978 27 Feb 1979 06 Oct 1979






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