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Gibraltar Squadron a step closer to getting new jet-propelled patrol ships

Sailors from the Gibraltar Squadron undertook a jet boat course
29 June 2021
Sailors from the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron are a step closer to operating their new jet-propelled patrol vessels.

Commanding Officers successfully completed the Jet Boat Course held at the Royal Navy School of Seamanship at HMS Raleigh.

The two-week course gave the officers an opportunity to operate a vessel propelled by jets, rather than conventional propellers.

Later this year the squadron will take delivery of the first of two new £9.9m fast patrol boats – HMS Cutlass and Dagger – which will form the backbone of the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron.

Every type of vessel within the Royal Navy has its own manoeuvring characteristics and, despite being in the Royal Navy for over ten years, I have never operated a jet-propelled craft.

Lt Cdr Adam Colman, CO HMS Pursuer

Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman, the Commanding Officer of HMS Pursuer, said: “Every type of vessel within the Royal Navy has its own manoeuvring characteristics and, despite being in the Royal Navy for over ten years, I have never operated a jet-propelled craft.  We are now prepared for the arrival of HMS Cutlass later in the year.”

Cutlass and Dagger will provide 24/7/365 cover, racing through the waters around the territory at speeds of up to 40kts, providing protection for Royal Navy and visiting allied warships with machine-guns and, potentially, heavy machine-guns.

The squadron currently patrols the territorial waters with HMS Dasher and Pursuer, plus several small Pacific 24 RIBs.

Dasher and Pursuer are temporary replacements for the squadron’s long-standing guardians, fast patrol boats HMS Scimitar and Sabre, which returned to the UK last summer.

The squadron is due to take delivery of Dagger in the spring of 2022. The MOD ordered the 19-metre boats from Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology last year.

Each with a crew of six sailors and operating out of the Naval Base in Gibraltar, the two boats are the first vessels built for the Royal Navy on the Mersey in 30 years.

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