Liverpool firm wins £36m UK defence contract

Based just outside Liverpool city centre, Marine Specialised Technology, supplies high speed boats to navies in 21 countries and has won a £36m contract with the Ministry of Defence. Tony McDonough reports

Marine Specialised Technology will supply  police patrol craft for the Gibraltar Defence Police


Liverpool manufacturer Marine Specialised Technology (MST) has won a £36m contract to build 18 police patrol craft for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Forces.

This latest deal comes less than a year after MST, which is based just outside Liverpool city centre, secured a £9m contract with the MOD to build two replacement boats for the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft.

MST has established a global reputation as a leading manufacturer of rigid inflatable and high-speed work boats for military and search and rescue customers in 21 countries. The new deal will sustain 50 jobs at the firm and create a further 15 across the North West.

The police patrol craft will play an important role in 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.

Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said: “This £36 million investment allows our MOD Police and Gibraltar Defence Police Forces to enhance the vital security service they provide to our military bases at home and overseas.

“Designed and constructed by maritime experts in the UK, this contract reaffirms our commitment to invest in homegrown industry knowledge and support the protection and creation of skilled jobs.”

The 15-metre craft will be able to carry three crew members and up to four passengers, travelling at 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.

MOD Police marine operations support lead, Inspector Brian McArdle, added: “The bespoke craft requirement compiled in collaboration with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), will deliver a modern maritime craft enhancing the operational capabilities of the MOD Police.”

The craft procurement is part of an ongoing craft replacement project ensuring the MOD Police continues to support MOD and Royal Navy. The Carrier Strike Group 21, led by the Royal Navy alongside 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.

DE&S boat acquisition project manager, Joshua Brooks, also said: “These craft will ensure the continuity of an important capability for the MOD Police to deter and defend against threats to UK bases and overseas territories.”

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