Mersey boat builder secures German naval contract

High speed military boat manufacturer Marine Specialised Technology will build 12 small vessels for German special forces at its Liverpool city region base. Tony McDonough reports

F126 frigate
MST will supply 12 small boats to be carried on Germany’s F126 frigates. Image supplied by Damen


Specialist military boat manufacturer Marine Specialised Technology (MST) has secured a contract to provide 12 small vessels for the German navy.

Bromborough-based MST will supply its FRISC RHIB 2m rigid-hulled inflatable mission boats – designed for use by special forces. They will be carried on the navy’s F126 frigates and will include the latest navigation and command systems.

These 12 craft will also come with transportation trailers and a comprehensive Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package. The contract was secured from Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands. Damen is also involved in the delivery of a new Mersey Ferry.

In April last year MST revealed it had acquired a shipyard in Bromborough in Wirral from the Carmet Tug Company for an undisclosed sum. It relocated from its previous Liverpool base and has spent £2m upgrading the site.

Founded in 2002, MST designs, manufactures and supplies high speed boats to navies in 21 countries. It currently employs 135 people. They are mostly based in Wirral and at a second site in Leyland in Lancashire.

In summer 2021, MST secured a £36m contract to build 18 police patrol craft for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Forces. And in 2020 it won a £9m MOD contract to build two replacement boats for the Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft.

Managing director Ben Kerfoot said: “MST is extremely pleased to be working together with Damen again on this prestigious project, this time with Damen Naval on complex frigates, providing a highly effective platform against maritime threats.”

Germany’s F126 frigates are being built by Damen Naval in German shipyards in Wolgast, Kiel and Hamburg. Major partners include Thales Netherlands, and Blohm + Voss. 

The first ship will be handed over in Hamburg in 2028 and the contract includes an option for two further frigates.

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