The first of 18 high-speed patrol boats for various police units around the UK and Gibraltar has been launched.
Marine Specialised Technology Group (MST Group) and design partner BMT said the vessel, named Osprey, was officially launched on the River Mersey and will now undergo lengthy trials before being delivered to the Ministry of Defence.
BMT designed the vessel, an HPB-1500 model, which is one of a HPB portfolio, and the build was completed by MST’s shipyard facility, the company said.
“Engineering teams worked closely ensuring that the HPB DNA flowed throughout this new design, resulting in a technologically advanced craft, from hull construction to the capable on board C4iSR systems,” said Andrew Phillips, technical director for MST Group. “This is all a testament to the skills and expertise this exciting partnership brings to the patrol boat market.”
MST Group and BMT were awarded a Police Patrol Craft contract in March 2021 for a six-year programme to deliver 18 patrol craft to various police units around the UK and Gibraltar.
They will protect Royal Naval assets such as ships, submarines and port installations.
Martin Bissuel, Business Sector Lead at BMT, said: “The first launch is a very important milestone in this programme. It is the result of many months of hard work, innovation, and close cooperation between the BMT and MST teams.
“We look forward to supporting the build of the rest of the fleet, both from a vessel design point of view as well as providing the ILS (Integrated Logistics Support) elements, which are so critical to the required high levels of in-service availability required.”
The second vessel is due to be launched in three months’ time.