The Royal Navy’s New $6.5 Million Patrol Boat Ready to Become “Guardian of the Rock”

The UK Royal Navy patrol boats that are part of the Gibraltar Squadron are affectionately called “guardians of the Rock” because they protect the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters every day and have been doing so for decades. The boat that had been recently added to the Squadron, HMS Cutlass, is now joined by its younger sister, HMS Dagger.
HMS Dagger was delivered to the Gibraltar Squadron for sea trials 6 photos
HMS Dagger Patrol BoatHMS Dagger Patrol BoatGibraltar SquadronHMS Cutlass Patrol BoatGibraltar Squadron
HMS Sabre and Scimitar have been fulfilling their protective duty in the Gibraltar area for almost two decades, so it was time for newer vessels to take over this role. The two venerable boats returned to the UK in 2020. Until the new models were completed, HMS Dasher and Pursuer kept an eye on all the vessels operating around the area, together with the Pacific 24 RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) that are also part of the Squadron.

HMS Cutlass kicked off sea trials last year and was recently declared fully operational. Now, it’s time for HMS Dagger to undergo safety checks and complex trials before becoming operational by the middle of this year. That is when the new Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron will be complete.

Both of these new patrol boats are worth around $6.5 million (£5 million), and they are 19-meter-long (62 feet). Three Volvo D13-1000 engines (adding up to 3,000 HP) plus three MJP350X water jets get these ships to hit the waves as fast as 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). They can accommodate six crew members and up to six passengers. In terms of weapons, they will initially carry three purpose machine guns, one on the foredeck and two off-deck. But they will also be fitted for heavy machine guns.

HMS Dagger is not only the newest patrol boat to be delivered to the Gibraltar Squadron but also the first in the Royal Navy to sport this name. A weapon-class anti-submarine escort was supposed to receive this name by the end of World War II, but it ended up being canceled when the war stopped. A brand-new name seems fitting for a brand-new boat that will protect Gibraltar for decades to come.

press release

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