The Royal Navy can confirm the Her Majesty the Queen has approved the names of two new fast patrol boats, which will be based in Gibraltar, as HM Ships Dagger and Cutlass. The new cutting-edge fast patrol boats cost nearly Â£10m and are being built by Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology (MST). Both boats, which have been designed specifically with Gibraltar in mind. The Gibraltar Squadron Fast Patrol Craft is supporting British operations and patrolling HMNB Gibraltar and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.
Dagger is a name new to the Royal Navy. It was due to have been assigned to a weapon-class anti-submarine escort in late World War 2. But, the conflict ended and the ship was cancelled.Only one previous HMS Cutlass has served under the White Ensign. During the 1970s with her sisters Scimitar and Sabre, not the same vessels which later served in Gibraltar. She was used to train Royal Navy and NATO warships to deal with the threat of fast missile/torpedo craft as part of the First Fast Training Boat Squadron.
These craft will be replacing HMS PURSUER and HMS DASHER and will be commissioned into the Royal Navy once fully operational in Gibraltar. They will be the first commissioned Royal Navy craft to be built on the Mersey since 1992 when Cammell Laird launched the Submarine HMS Unicorn and the first Royal Navy surface craft since they launched HMS Campbeltown in 1987. The craft have been jointly developed with BMT Group who will provide a depth of knowledge and experience during the design, construction and commissioning of both vessels.
The Royal Navy also provided the following stats on the craft.
- Powered by 3x Volvo D13-1000 engines (each producing 1,000hp) and 3x MJP350X water jets
- 6 crew (plus 6 passengers)
- up to 40 knots
- initially will carry 3x purpose machine gun (1 on fore deck, 2 off deck), will be fitted for (but not with) the 0.50cal heavy machine guns
- Length: 19.0m.