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British Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Cutlass arrives in Gibraltar to be tested.

| 2021

According to information published by the Royal British Navy on November 18, 2021, the first new British Navy patrol boat HMS Cutlass arrives in Gibraltar to be tested.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 British Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Cutlass arrives in Gibraltar. (Picture source Royal British Navy)

Small, fast and agile, patrol boats HMS Cutlass has been delivered to the naval base ahead of patrols of territorial waters – part of a £10m investment in the Gibraltar Squadron to upgrade its craft. Cutlass – and her sister Dagger, due to be delivered in the spring of 2022 – are the permanent replacements for HMS Sabre and Scimitar which safeguarded Gibraltar’s waters for nearly two decades.

The cutlass-class patrol boat is built in collaboration with companies MST Group and BMT under a £9m contract from the British Ministry of Defence in July 2020. 

Built by Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology, whose team is working with the RN squadron to introduce Cutlass into service, the new boats are 19 metres long – slightly longer than Sabre and Scimitar, slightly shorter than Dasher and Pursuer – can hit speeds of 40 knots (74 km/h) and are equipped with three machine-guns and the latest electronic/optical equipment to assist in identifying potential threats. 

The Cutlass-class fast patrol boat is powered by Three Volvo D13 engines driving three MJP 350X Waterjets. The patrol boat has a crew of six and the possibility to have up to six passengers. 

The Gibraltar Squadron provides security in British Territorial Waters, keeping close watch over Gibraltar’s shores, reassuring its 34,000 inhabitants, demonstrating UK sovereignty, exercising with local and visiting forces, and provide protection to visiting warships, submarines and support vessels alongside their civilian counterparts in the Gibraltar Defence Police force. Its boats are on the Rock around the clock – 365 days a year.

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