Switzerland to renew its patrol boat fleet
Despite being landlocked, Switzerland has been maintaining a small navy force of 11 Acquarius-class patrol boats used to patrol lakes Konstanz and Geneva, which form the country’s international boundaries.
According to local media, Switzerland is now set to acquire 14 Watercat 1250 Patrol boats from the Finnish manufacturer Marine Alutech.
The move was not welcomed by the Swiss media as they interpreted it as a waste of money due to the fact that the boats have no significant use.
A Swiss Federal Department of Defense (VBS) spokesman however was reported as saying that the government intended to modernize its existing naval force according to the Swiss armed forces development plan from 2014.
Financial reasons delayed the acquisition of the boats, the spokesman said. Now that country gave up on acquiring Gripen aircraft, it is able to buy the new boats.
According to the Swiss news portal 20 Minuten the 14 boats will cost 49 million Swiss Franc (approx. $51 million). The deal is yet to be approved by the government.
The Watercat 1250 Patrol boats that Switzerland intends to acquire are 12 meters long and propelled by two 228 kW diesel-engines. The boats are intended to be equipped with a 12,7mm machine gun station.