She has been designed to undertake a number of roles including safeguarding the fishing stocks in the UK, environmental protection, security and search & rescue operations. The vessel typically has a complement of 28 but can accommodate a crew of 30 plus a Royal Marine boarding party of 18.
Her sister ships are HMS Mersey and HMS Severn.
Built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton the vessel is 79.9m long with a 13.6m beam and 3.8m draught. She was launched on 27 April 2002 and commissioned into the fleet on 4 July 2003.
Displacement = 1,677 tonnes.
Propulsion consists of twin Rushton 12RK 270 Diesel Engines (4,125 KW / 5,532 hp at 1000rpm) giving a stop speed of 20 knots. Range is 7,800 nautical miles at 12 knots. The auxiliary power suite comprises three 250kW Caterpillar engines, she is also equipped with a Motoren VT bow thruster rated at 280kW.
The working deck can be utilised to transport smaller craft or light vehicles. It can also accommodate if necessary up to seven containers enabling the ship to carry additional stores, workshops, diving chambers or medical facilities. A heavy crane of 25t capacity is fitted to handle standard containers.
She is also equipped with General Purpose Machine Guns.
RIB launch and recovery can be carried out in wave heights between 2.5m and 4m using single-man operation, single-point lift davits.