The British MoD has signed a six-year contract with Marine Specialised Technology, valued at £9.9 million (€10.9 million) for two new fast patrol craft as replacements for the Gibraltar Squadron.
The contract, which will support 30 jobs and create a further 25, calls for construction of the two boats beginning in July 2020, which will take approximately 18 months. The first is scheduled for delivery in Q3/2021-22 and the second in Q1/2022-23. In-service support will then consume the remaining four years.
The new boats will be used to patrol the naval base at Gibraltar and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, to support British exercises and operations in the area and keep close watch over Gibraltar’s shores, demonstrating UK sovereignty of Gibraltar as well as providing force protection to visiting British and allied military vessels.
The two new boats will replace HMS PURSUER and DASHER, ARCHER-class vessels that recently took over from HMS SABRE and SCIMITAR, the SCIMTAR-class that had been in service for 17 years.
“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 [for] 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 […] These boats will provide the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron with a modern, fast and effective capability for fulfilling their important role,” stated Mark Milsom, Project Manager for the DE&S Boats Team.