Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron have taken delivery of their second new £5m patrol boat. HMS Cutlass (P295) joins HMS Dagger (P296) for their role of ‘guardians of the Rock’, replacing HMS Sabre and Scimitar, which operated in Gibraltar’s waters for nearly two decades. Dagger must first undergo a rigorous set of sea trials and safety checks until she can fly a White Ensign. These trials are due to be complete in mid-2022. Delivered by Marine Specialised Technology, Dagger and Cutlass will be based in HM Naval Base Gibraltar and used to patrol British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, support British exercises and operations in the area and will keep close watch over Gibraltar’s shores.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Simon Holden said: “The arrival of HMS Dagger to the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is the culmination of many months of hard work by our commercial partners, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy. This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone involved in the project and as her first Commanding Officer, I am looking forward to putting HMS Dagger through her paces and getting her operational as soon as possible. She is now going to conduct several sea trials before raising the White Ensign in mid-2022.”
HMS Dagger (P296) is a Cutlass-class fast patrol boat of the British Royal Navy. She is a fast patrol boat with a maximum speed of around 41 knots (76 km/h; 47 mph) designed for sovereignty protection and coastal security duties. She arrived in Gibraltar in November 2021 after undergoing sea trials in Liverpool. Sabre and Scimitar returned to the UK in the summer of 2020, when HMS Dasher and Pursuer acted as the principal Royal Navy presence around Gib, joining the squadron’s Pacific 24 RIBs on patrols. Cutlass was handed over last year for trials ahead of being declared fully operational this spring.
The Cutlass class is a class of fast patrol boats of the British Royal Navy. The two vessels of this class are a commercial HPB-1900 design, built to military specifications by Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology. The role of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is to conduct maritime operations to provide security in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, reassure the Gibraltarians and demonstrate the UK sovereignty of Gibraltar. They also provide force protection to visiting warships, submarines and auxiliary units alongside their civilian counterparts in the Gibraltar Defence Police force. They perform this duty 365 days a year. This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone