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She was sold to Gardline for survey work in the Swapps and has just been taken up for a contract with the RAN. She'll be modified to act as a patol vessel including a brig for up to 40 to put illegals in.
Trimarans are all well and good, but in the risk-averse climate of today, it ain't gonna happen.
We now have 4 ships that we lease from the builder, Severn, Tyne, Mersey and now Clyde. These ships are built to commercial standards and I have heard nothing but good things about the first 3, Clyde is still working up for her deployment south. They are marketed by VT as EEZ management vessel, that is Economic Exclusion Zone.
The first 3 are armed with a 20mm gun and a couple of GPMGs, however, Clyde has been fitted with improved armament for her role of protecting the Falklands, a 30mm gun! Anybody else thinks this is scary? Still not bad for a civvies ship we are leasing. But shouldnâ€™t we have leased something like this instead?
A leased multi-purpose corvette would be more appropriate than a fishery protection vessel for the Falklands I think. Managed in the same way as the River class, this could have provided a cheaper platform than a T23, but vastly more capable than an OPV. Whitehall seems to be getting the cost/performance balance all wrong, it seems to be applying commercial just in time policies to military planning! HELLO!!
It isnâ€™t only Argentina who is interested in the Falklands, itâ€™s one of those oily issues again, the natural resources of the Islands are what we are protecting, not a handful of Bennies. So why not both, Clyde and a corvette working together and thus releasing the scarce resource that is the T22s, T23s and t42s to doing the heavy stuff, the war fighting. They could be paid for by releasing the mineral extraction rights for the Falklands, and thus confirming our sovereignty, and by licensing the fishing in and around the Islands more effectively, by their very presence.