The Royal Navy’s newest ship has arrived in the fleet.

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The Royal Navy’s newest ship has arrived in the fleet.

At a ceremony in the Highlands, the Royal Navy’s newest ship was commissioned into active service.

HMS Spey is the fifth and last ship in the current naval contract for a new generation of River Class offshore patrol vessels.

The 90-metre-long ship has space on board for up to 50 Royal Marines and can hold a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter on its flight deck.

HMS Spey was built at BAE Systems in Glasgow and launched last October from the Clyde shipyard for sea trials.

Invergordon, the ship’s linked town, commissioned the ship and its 45-strong crew into the fleet on Friday.

HMS Spey will conduct security operations in the far east later this year.

“For many here today, this is their first time seeing the newest ship in the Royal Navy, and we are ensuring that the day is celebrated as securely as possible,” said the ship’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans.

“I am honored to be here today with my incredible ship’s crew. They’ve accomplished so much and put in so much effort to get us to this significant milestone.”

A flypast was performed by RAF submarine-hunting Poseidon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth, and the Royal Marines Scotland Band played to commemorate the occasion.

“Introducing the Clyde-built patrol vessel HMS Spey into active service once again shows that not only does defence play a crucial role in the security of the United Kingdom, but it also contributes to Scotland’s prosperity through employment and investment,” Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart said.

“While HMS Spey will always have a strong connection to her home port of Invergordon, she will be stationed in the Indo-Asian-Pacific region as part of the Royal Navy’s role in global Britain.”

“Today represents a key milestone for the Royal Navy’s second generation of River Class vessels, as HMS Spey prepares to join her four sister ships to provide crucial maritime security for the United Kingdom,” said Defence Minister Jeremy Quin.

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