These ships will be able to conduct all of the fishery protection and domestic security duties currently undertaken by the squadron but will now also provide far more capable platform for deploying overseas such as when Mersey provided support to migrant operations in the Mediterranean or Severn and Mersey on Atlantic Patrol North.

Lt Tom Sleight

They're four knots faster, carry a 30mm, not 20mm main gun, two Miniguns, four machine-guns, two Pacific 24 sea boats. Each ship is equipped with a flight deck (only Clyde of the first generation craft can host a helicopter) and there's accommodation for up to 50 troops/Royal Marines to support operations ashore if needed.

Junior ratings share six-berth cabins - as on Type 45 destroyers; senior rates and officers will live in two-berth en suite cabins.

Forth, which is affiliated to the historic city of Stirling, also borrows many of the first batch's features - which were revolutionary in RN ships at the time: fixed fire-fighting systems across much of the ship, a computer-controlled machinery monitoring system. The bridge is far more Type 45 (spacious, computerised with interchangeable displays, communications kit) than a rather cramped Type 23 frigate.

"Today marks a key moment in the generation of the ship and it is extremely exciting to be on board," said Commander Bob Laverty, Forth's first Commanding Officer. "Forth boasts state-of-the-art equipment, and my Ship's Company are looking forward to developing their knowledge of the systems on board with their industry counterparts."

The Batch 2s are from the same family as the Batch 1s "but are a completely new design," Lt Tom Sleight, Forth's Navigator, explained.

"The design provides a lot more operational flexibility with the large flight deck and space for the embarked force."

"These ships will be able to conduct all of the fishery protection and domestic security duties currently undertaken by the squadron but will now also provide far more capable platform for deploying overseas such as when Mersey provided support to migrant operations in the Mediterranean or Severn and Mersey on Atlantic Patrol North."

"They are going to be extremely capable ships when compared with their predecessors."

Ship No.2, HMS Medway, has taken Forth's place at Scotstoun for fitting out having been floated down river from Govan in mid-August.

Marine Engineer Officer

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