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Press release -

New vessel for Falklands patrol duties

THE ship that is to replace both the Castle-class ships, Dumbarton Castle and Leeds Castle for patrol duties in Falklands waters, was launched last week.

HMS Clyde is an enhanced River Class design with a helicopter deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new Merlin. She also has increased accommodation to cater for an embarked force, a 30mm gun, and higher levels of survivability and surveillance radar.
The 80 metre vessel will accommodate a crew of 36 (six officers, nine senior rates and 21 junior rates), berthed in single or twin berth cabins with en suite facilities. There will be additional accommodation for up to 20 extra personnel, which could be an embarked military force, trainees or headquarters staff.

Although there will only be one ship in the Falklands, HMS Clyde is more technologically capable than the Dumbarton and Leeds Castle and will be available for operational duty more often than the 25 year old Castle-class ships.

Final fitting out of HMS Clyde and setting to work her machinery will take place over the next three months before she is officially named in September. Sea trials will follow and she is scheduled for handover for operational duty in late October and expected to be on station in the South Atlantic by summer next year.

One of the unique features of HMS Clyde is that she is owned by VT Group and chartered to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for a period of five years.
At the end of that period, the MoD can extend the charter, return the ship or purchase her outright

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