Marine Specialised Technology based in Liverpool will build two new Gibraltar patrol vessels for the UK Ministry of Defence. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool-based builder of military and rescue boats has secured a £9.9m contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply two new patrol vessels.
Marine Specialised Technology (MST), based at Brunswick just outside the city centre, manufactures rigid inflatable and high-speed work boats for military and search and rescue customers across the world.
The MoD says the six-year contract will see MST build two replacements boats for the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft. The boats will be built by 2023 with the rest of the contract providing in-service support. The deal safeguards 30 jobs at the firm and will see the creation of a further 25 jobs.
Both boats will be used to patrol HMNB Gibraltar and British Gibraltar territorial waters. They will also support British exercises and operations in the area and will keep close watch over Gibraltar’s shores. Putting technological advancement at the fore, the vessels will demonstrate UK sovereignty of Gibraltar as well as providing force protection to designated visiting UK and Allied military vessels.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “These new vessels will enable the Royal Navy to maintain the security of British Gibraltar territorial waters and protect British, NATO and Allied ships transiting through the region. This contract will also support highly skilled jobs across the UK which clearly demonstrates how national security and regional prosperity go hand in hand.”
The two new boats will replace the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft, HMS Pursuer and HMS Dasher. The two Archer-class vessels very recently took over from HMS SABRE and HMS SCIMITAR, the Scimitar Class vessels that had been in service in Gibraltar for 17 years.
Mark Milsom, project Manager for DE&S Boats Team, added: “There has been a British Armed Forces presence in Gibraltar for more than a hundred years and these boats will ensure we maintain an important capability to the Royal Navy and our armed forces, as well as playing a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting domestic waters and supporting maritime interests.”