The UK Navy ship is part of a new £178million fleet and is the first of five ships to join the Royal Navy, and is tasked with “safeguarding UK interests all around the world”.
Commanding Officer, Commander Bob Laverty, said: “It’s a huge privilege to be the first commanding officer of HMS Forth.
“These ships are vastly more capable and can provide the Royal Navy with a range of flexibility from fishery protection to deploying overseas on counter-smuggling operations and protecting British Overseas Territories.”
This ship is the first piece in Theresa May‘s new £178m equipment plan to “give the UK Armed Forces the kit it needs to do the job.”
HMS Forth is armed with an automatic cannon, two minions, four machine-guns and have two Pacific 24 sea boats, used for rescues, and anti-piracy missions.
The Navy said that the fleet will be its “eyes and ears around the UK”.
The new vessel is faster than its predecessors by four knots, and can reach speeds of 24 knots. That is the equivalent of nearly 30mph.
The fleet will have the task of helping safeguard fishing stocks, protecting the Falkland Islands and could be deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to safeguard the UK’s interests there.
Normally operating with a crew of 34, the Forth has room for 70 sailors plus accommodation for 50 Royal Marines.
The remaining four ships in the fleet are expected to arrive in Portsmouth by 2020.
The offshore patrol ship was built on the River Clyde in Scotland, and will be followed into service by HMS Trent, Medway, Tamar and Spey.
HMS Forth officially joined the Royal Navy fleet on Friday, at a ceremony in Portsmouth.