MST and BMT win £36m UK MoD DE&S contract for 18 high-speed patrol craft

Posted on 16 June, 2021 by Advance 

Marine Specialised Technology Group (MST) with partner BMT, have won a competitive tender process with the UK MoD Defence Equipment & Support Organisation (DE&S) to supply eighteen state-of-the-art 15.0m high-speed patrol craft to the UK Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP).

Image courtesy MST Group / BMT

The craft will replace the current 14.0m – 15.0m Police Patrol Launches currently in use by the MDP and GDP. Key roles will include protecting HM Naval Bases in the UK and Gibraltar and undertaking high-profile armed patrolling of the UK’s borders.

The new design will join MST’s highly successful ‘HPB’ series of enclosed patrol craft as the new HPB-1500 and has been jointly developed with BMT. This is the same partnership behind MST’s larger HPB-1900 design of which two are already in build for the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron.

The craft will be powered by twin inboard diesel propulsion engines driving twin waterjets with a specific focus on low running costs, reduced environmental emissions and suitability for significant operating hours. The bridge will feature a fully integrated C4ISR and craft management system, utilising the latest open-architecture structure and state of the art shock mitigation crew seating. These improvements in craft capability will be a major advancement for the MDP and GDP.

This is another high-profile project for the MST Group and will be a further step forward in the expansion of its continuously growing craft range and its position as a leading manufacturer in the maritime industry.

Based in Liverpool and on the River Mersey, the contract will sustain 50 jobs and create a further 15 across the north west of England.

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 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 said: "The bespoke craft requirement compiled in collaboration with Defence Equipment and Support, 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 to achieve operational objectives."

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.

DE&S Boat Acquisition project manager, Joshua Brooks 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.

"These craft will provide the MoD police with a modern, fast and effective capability for fulfilling their important role."

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.

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

Benjamin Kerfoot, Managing Director for Marine Specialised Technology Group, said: “We are delighted to be working with DE&S again on another prestigious project supplying our UK Defence Forces.

"This contract is another example of the success the MST Group has managed to achieve over the last two decades and is also a key indicator of the further accomplishments we will achieve in our near-future.”

Martin Bissuel, Business Sector Lead for Government and Security at BMT commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with MST on another prestigious project supplying our UK Defence Forces. This multi-vessel contract is a great reflection of the way our highly-experienced teams can combine expertise to produce an optimal design, as well as a tailored ILS package. The 15m vessels will be valuable in providing the MoD Police Force with an upgrade in capability to persistently patrol in littoral areas for the purpose of force protection of critical national infrastructure, covering high value assets across the United Kingdom and its naval bases.

“The 15m Patrol Boat Design is part of BMT’s extensive range of proven in-service patrol boats for the demanding defence and security sectors in the UK and overseas. This additional order from MST underscores our agility in producing carefully tailored designs that suit each individual operator’s particular requirements.”