US-built patrol boats for Netherlands Antilles
Four new high speed patrol boats manufactured by Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) have been commissioned on the island of Curacao.
Designed in-house by Metal Shark and built at the company’s Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility, the welded aluminum, enclosed-pilothouse, 38 Defiant monohull patrol boats are the result of a multi-year effort by the DCCG to procure a replacement for its fleet of open-cockpit RIBs. The new vessels will serve as the DCCG’s main interceptors, patrolling the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba.
Powered by twin Cummins Marine QSB6.7 diesel engines coupled with Konrad 680B counter-rotating dual-prop stern drives, the 38 Defiant reaches top speeds in excess of 45 knots.
A fully-enclosed pilothouse shields the crew from the elements, while Metal Shark’s signature “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement assures unimpeded visibility, day or night. Specially engineered composite armoured panels provide ballistic crew protection from unfriendly fire. Shockwave Corbin shock-mitigating seating has been provided for a crew of six, and anti-fatigue floor covering has been employed in the pilothouse and the below decks crew spaces. For extended patrols at sea, accommodations include an enclosed head compartment, galley, and v-berth.
The new vessels are the first to be delivered to the DCCG under a 12-boat order announced last year.
By Jake Frith
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