Maritime security in the Caribbean region has been bolstered with the delivery of six high speed aluminium patrol craft for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).

Capable of speeds greater than 40 knots and armed with general purpose machine guns and a 20mm cannon, the 30 meter vessels – designed and built by Australian shipbuilder Austal – will expand the TTCG’s surveillance and enforcement capability in the region.

The on-schedule, on-budget delivery of the fleet was achieved less than two years from the initial order, with the final vessels arriving in Trinidad and Tobago via heavy lift ship on January 18.

Director of Trinidad’s Defence Transformation and Integration Secretariat, CDRE Garnet Best, said the vessels would be used to create a security blanket around the waters of Trinidad and Tobago.

“We are confident that the speed of the vessels will contribute to their effectiveness in the interdiction of illegal drugs,” CDRE Best said.

“These vessels have been very well designed to perform numerous roles including customs and immigration border control, fire services and prisoner transport, protection of our marine environment as well as protection of our oil and gas resources.”

As well as superior maneuverability and speed, the patrol boats benefit from the reduced structural weight, improved fuel economy and enhanced corrosion resistance that typifies Austal’s aluminum platforms.

Austal is now set to deliver a five-year comprehensive maintenance and support services program for the vessels as part of an additional contract. Included in this will be scheduled planned and preventative maintenance support, unscheduled maintenance, management and performance of annual surveys and maintenance periods, as well as shore based engineering support.

Austal Director – Sales and Australian Operations, Andrew Bellamy, said the six-vessel fleet reinforced not only Austal’s unique brand of high performance defence platforms but also the importance of customized vessel support packages.

“These state-or-the-art patrol platforms will play an integral role in modernizing Caribbean maritime security,” Mr Bellamy said.

“Ensuring that the right support structures are in place can be as important as the vessels themselves. From pre-delivery crew training to ongoing vessel maintenance via our newly established service hub in Trinidad, Austal is pleased to be providing an all-inclusive support package to the TTCG.”

The vessels are named “TTS Scarlet Ibis”, “TTS Hibiscus”, “TTS Humming Bird”, “TTS Chaconia”, “TTS Poui” and “TTS Teak”.

A comprehensive crew training program, facilitated by Austal at its Western Australian facility, was also undertaken during the construction process by more than 90 TTCG personnel. Austal is currently delivering further training on-site in Trinidad.

Fast Patrol Craft Technical Specification

General Vessel Description 
Vessel Type:Fast Patrol Craft
Material:Aluminium Alloy
Hull Form:Monohull
Deadweight (max):16 tonnes
Principal Dimensions
Length Overall:30.0 Meters
Length (waterline):24.6 Meters
Beam (moulded):6.4 Meters
Depth (moulded):3.2 Meters
Draft (approx): 1.5 Meters
Personnel
Crew:11
Performance
Range at 10 knots:>1000nm
Speed:40 knots
Propulsion
Main Engines:2 x MTU 16V 2000 M92
2 x 1630 kW @ 2460rpm
Propulsion:2 x Rolls Royce - Kamewa 56a waterjets
Weapons and Sensors
Stardard:2 x .50 calibre general purpose machine gun mounts
1 x 20mm cannon
ClassificationDet Norske Veritas (DNV) X 1A1 HSLC R3 Patrol EO
Source:Austal
The Austal 30 metre fast patrol platform mixes high speed with high endurance and is designed for superior sea keeping and operation in up to Sea State 6 conditions. Their light but strong hard chine, deep “V” monohull delivers manoeuvrability, durability, speed and a draft of only 1.5 metres.