UK invests £36M in new MOD police patrol craft

The UK government has awarded a £36 million contract to Marine Specialised Technology to deliver 18 new police patrol craft for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Forces.

Photo: UK MOD

Construction has already started on the design project and the first police patrol craft is expected to be delivered in July 2022, the UK MOD said.

To be used around Royal Naval bases in the UK and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, the five-year contract will deliver 16 patrol craft to the MOD Police and two craft to the GDP, replacing those currently in use.

The police patrol craft is expected to play an important role in the UK Defence, enhancing capability to safeguard UK and Gibraltar waters and escort major Royal Navy assets in and out of naval bases at home and overseas.

The 15 metre craft will be able to carry 3 crew members and up to 4 passengers, travelling up to 30 knots. They will be fitted with a CCTV surveillance system, two Marine Jet Power waterjets and reinforced with bullet-proof protection against incoming fire.

As highly manoeuvrable craft, they will also be used for 24/7 policing to protect Defence assets and deter and detect any potential threats. Able to operate in all weather conditions, direct support to the Royal Navy will also include escort, cordons and maritime security capabilities.

“The craft procurement is part of an ongoing craft replacement project ensuring the MOD Police continues to support MOD and Royal Navy to achieve operational objectives,” MOD Police marine operations support lead, Inspector Brian McArdle said.

The Carrier Strike Group 21, led by the Royal Navy alongside their Dutch and US counterparts, recently visited Gibraltar as part of the deployment and was supported by the GDP who carried out escort and patrol activity.

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The constant waterborne patrol and policing at UK Naval Bases will include HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Devonport and HMNB Clyde, as well as the Gibraltar Naval Dockyard.