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First new £5m Navy patrol boat HMS Cutlass debuts in Gibraltar

HMS Cutlass
18 November 2021
The first of two new ‘guardians of the Rock’ has arrived in Gibraltar ready for testing by the Royal Navy.

Small, fast and agile, 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.

They returned to the UK in the summer of 2020, since when HMS Dasher and Pursuer have acted as the principal Royal Navy presence around Gib, joining the squadron’s Pacific 24 RIBs on patrols.

 “We are delighted with the arrival of HMS Cutlass,” said the boat’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman.

“She increases the Squadron’s capability in providing maritime security and enforcing UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

“This week, she will begin a series of trials under the Blue Ensign to further test her capabilities in the theatre she will operate in. Once these trials are complete, she will conduct the Royal Navy’s safety and readiness checks which will ensure the vessel and crew are ready to conduct operations.”

 
She increases the Squadron’s capability in providing maritime security and enforcing UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman

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 and are equipped with three machine-guns and the latest electronic/optical equipment to assist in identifying potential threats.

Once the training and trials are complete, Cutlass will be commissioned and hoist the White Ensign.
 
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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