The names and details of equipment fit of the Royal Navy’s upcoming River class Batch 2 OPVs have been revealed as construction got under way on 10 October. The ships will feature 29 changes to the standard design in service with Brazil. These include a reinforced flight deck, uprated helicopter in-flight refuelling arrangements, an IMO-compliant waste treatment plant, additional accommodation for embarked military detachments, and improved watertight integrity and fire-fighting provisions to meet Naval Authority standards.
The vessels will mount a single 30mm main gun and two Mk 44 miniguns. The ships will also have a variant of the CMS-1 combat management system along with a SCANTER 4103 I-band radar as the primary air/surface surveillance sensor. The improved specification does not account for the extra cost of the ships in comparison to exported versions. The £348 million deal for the Batch 2 ships equates to £116 million each versus the £50 million unit cost sold overseas.