Hot on the back of San Fernando’s launch, the team is gearing up for the first sea trials for the second Trinidad & Tobago ship, Scarborough, due to start just hours after the launch ceremony at 14.00 today.
The unprecedented timing of the launch was due to the early high tides on the Clyde in the summer months, but it did not deter the enthusiasm of those involved. A piper greeted around 150 workers and guests who turned out to join the celebrations.
Scott Jamieson, International Programmes Director at BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: “Today’s events are testament to the skill and hard work of all those involved in the programme and highlight the tremendous progress that has been made over the past year.
“The launch of San Fernando comes only eight months after the launch of the first and second ships in the class and this, along with Scarborough’s departure for final trials, demonstrates our commitment to delivering these ships to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The ships are part of a contract to build, integrate, test and commission three 90m Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard which will be used for a range of Economic Exclusion Zone management tasks, from disaster relief operations to tackling drug runners. BAE Systems will provide maintenance and in-service support to the ships for the next five years, while the UK Ministry of Defence is providing technical advice, quality assurance and operational sea training for the 60 man crews.
At a time when BAE Systems seeks to boost export opportunities, the highly versatile offshore patrol vessels, based on the proven River Class ships in service with the Royal Navy, are able to accommodate a diversity of roles making them attractive to other navies around the world.
San Fernando slipped into the River Clyde as high tide peaked at 5.1 metres. During her two week period at sea, Clyde-built Scarborough will embark on an extensive programme of trials including propulsion testing, speed and manoeuvrability trials and weapons testing.
• Length overall 90.5 metres
• Breadth moulded 13.5 metres
• Draught 3.5 metres
• Speed in excess of 25 knots
• Range at 12 knots greater than 5,500nm
• Endurance 35 days
• Nominal crew of 60
Other features include:
• Capable sensor and weapons fit integrated within a command and control system
• Comprehensive communication system
• Ability to conduct sea boardings using onboard RIB and Fast Interceptor Craft
• Accommodation for 50 fully equipped troops
• Ability to conduct helicopter operations
• Ample deck space for the transport of containers and additional craft
• Ability to replenish at sea
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