The UK MOD has signed a £9-million contract with British company Marine Specialised Technology for two new boats to replace the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft
Construction of the two boats beginning in July 2020 which will take approximately 18 months, with Boat 1 due to be delivered in Q3 2021/22 and Boat 2 in Q1 2022/23.
The remainder of the contract will provide an additional four years of local In-Service Support to the patrol craft. “These boats will provide the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron with a modern, fast and effective capability for fulfilling their important role,” the UK MoD said.
Both boats will be used to patrol HMNB Gibraltar and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) as well as supporting British exercises and operations in the area, keeping a close watch over Gibraltar’s shores.
Project Manager for DE&S Boats Team, Mark Milsom, said: “There has been a British Armed Forces presence in Gibraltar for more than a hundred years and these boats will ensure we maintain an important capability to the Royal Navy and our armed forces, as well as playing a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting domestic waters and supporting maritime interests.”
The two new boats will replace the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft, HMS Pursuer and Dasher. These two Archer-class vessels very recently took over from HMS SABRE and HMS SCIMITAR, the Scimitar Class vessels that had been in service in Gibraltar for 17 years.
Putting technological advancement at the fore, the vessels will demonstrate UK sovereignty of Gibraltar as well as providing force protection to designated visiting UK and Allied military vessels.