ROYAL Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) HMS Forth will visit the Firth of Forth for the first time when she stops-off at Leith from August 14 to 22.

The first of five Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMS Forth entered service in 2018. Since then the ship successfully conducted sea trials in the Solent and off the Isle of Man and has been in Gibraltar to practice operating in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Most recently, the 2,000-tonne patrol ship and her 60-strong crew of Royal Navy sailors, have been shadowing a Russian ship as it passed through the English Channel.

But on Wednesday, the Clyde-built vessel will pay her inaugural visit to Leith, helping to support the Royal Navy during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

During her visit to Leith, HMS Forth will host Reservists from HMS Scotia in Rosyth, Sea Cadets from Edinburgh District, visitors from Glasgow Science Centre, as well as guests of the Royal Navy attending the Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

Sailors on board the vessel will also get the chance to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia and have the opportunity to visit the City Chambers where they will call on The Lord Provost.

HMS Forth, which is affiliated to Stirling, will replace HMS Clyde later this year as the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel. The South Atlantic Patrol is the Royal Navy’s standing commitment to the Falkland Islands. At almost 8,000 nautical miles from the UK and subject to strong winds and high sea states, the South Atlantic Overseas Territory presents one of the harshest working environments of any Royal Navy deployment.

The Royal Navy keeps a vessel on constant patrol around these challenging waters, conducting routine visits and providing reassurance to the numerous small settlements scattered throughout the island chain. The patrol visit also pays regular visits to other British Overseas Territories in the region, such as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.