Latvian Navy’s New SWATH Patrol Boats to Stay Under GL Class

Latvian Navy's New SWATH Patrol Boats to Stay Under GL Class

The Latvian Navy’s new SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) patrol boats will be kept under Germanischer Lloyd (GL) class. GL surveyors will conduct periodic examinations throughout the life cycle of the vessels to verify that the vessels continue to be fit for purpose, technically reliable and seaworthy.

Five vessels are currently planned with one, the Skrunda, already delivered. This is the first contract ever awarded for the maintenance in class of military SWATH boats.

The five SWATH Patrol Boats are being built with GL class at German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen (3 vessels) and at the Latvian Riga Shipyard (2 vessels). The first of these vessels, the “Skrunda” was delivered to the Latvian Navy in April of 2011. The Latvian Navy made the decision to maintain the vessels in class due to the advanced nature of the design. Following a tender process, carried out according to EU and Latvian law, GL was awarded the contract.

GL surveyors worked with the yards and with the Latvian Navy throughout the construction process to ensure that the vessels’ construction complied with both GL rules and the applicable international regulations (e.g. SOLAS, MARPOL). Building vessels to classification society rules and keeping them in class is a growing trend, as navies look to reduce maintenance and monitoring costs while maintaining high safety standards, through compliance with international regulations. “As vessels become more complex, monitoring the technical safety of such vessels requires a greater investment in resources and manpower. Maintaining vessels to the rules of a classification society allows navies to concentrate on their core activities, reducing the workload on crews and cutting costs,” said André Grabow, GL Business Development Manager Navy.

SWATH boats are noted for their exceptional stability and motion comfort, both in high seas and at high speeds. The Skrunda (GL + 100 A5 HSDE OC3, Patrol Boat, + MC Aut) has a length of 25.7m, beam of 13.0m and a draft of 2.7m. It is based on Abeking & Rasmussen’s 25m SWATH Pilot boat design. In a shift from the Pilot boat design the Skrunda’s engines have been placed in the lower hulls, which results in more room for the crew and additional passengers. It is designed to undertake a range of operations through the provision of a mount for a modular mission module, which is positioned between the two bows. This can be used to hold equipment or mount systems for conducting a variety of military missions, as well as for civilian tasks such as hydrographic surveys, environmental protection or diving operations.

The patrol boats’ main duties will be to monitor and control Latvian and EU territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and carry out search and rescue duties. They will also participate in international operations.

Naval Today Staff , March 05, 2012; Image: gl-group