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Andrew McGill

I think “0.05 cal” must be a typo


Maybe not. Today In RN Patrol Craft terms small has become beautiful. In Seakeeping the opposite is true. These craft S/B between 25 and 30 metres.

Basil Barnes

Definitly a typo 0.5 cal or 50 BMG as the Americans like to call it is the rounds are referring to. 0.05 would be less than 1mm in diameter.

Tom Spence

It does actually say 0.5 and not 0.05


Thats because its been fixed.


They would be lucky to get any weaponry as “Fitted for but not with” is the current mantra. One day that will become disastrously unstuck.


Totally agree. No other navy does this on the scale of the RN.

The lessons of the Falklands where we lost men because we sent ships into action with a 1960’s SAM system or with no back up to an area defence SAM that couldn’t be used at low level have been quickly forgotten


Sea Dart went into service in 1973. Falklands was just 9 years later. Sea Wolf entered service in 1979.


True(-ish) as there isn’t much call for cannon in powered mounts mid-Atlantic. The RN was very much a blue ocean ASW by 82.

Rob N

Not much of an excuse, most USN ships had Phalanx CIWS. Had the T42s had Phalanx they may not have been lost. It is a combination of a lack of imagination and penny pinching….

Colin’ Goffer

To small.


The area being policed is tiny. Much larger and you would be stuck.

The only way size would help is for dealing not with the Spanish navy incursions but other Spanish tomfoolery like when they fish or conduct surveys in Gib’s water. In those scenarios the RN pb just sits and watches them. A smallish tug with a monitor could be a bit more robust. But HMG and GG don’t do such things preferring to occupy the moral high ground. Passivity has its limits though……….

4th watch

Area may be tiny but the straits area is about 100 miles East and West and 10 plus miles across. I thought the idea was to provide more than a Coastal Police presence. In my opinion this is a boy for a man’s job solution. How a bluff bow gets on with punching through the waves only time will tell. If you’ve gone for one proper boat that would have been a better idea.This looks like a FCO spec. craft. Don’t rock the boat type solution again. Wasted opportunity.


Aren’t they to police the Gib waters not the Straits?


There used to be a guard ship to do that but we don’t have hull numbers now.

I would say that is Spain’s job as a NATO member now to police the straits.

The F&CO won’t rock the boat as you say.

Spain won’t stop playing silly games.

There needs to be some protection for the dock yard and territorial waters. I am surprised to be honest this hasn’t been given up to the territory’s two police forces.


In the MOD spiel as originally posted here it talked about escorting RN and Nato warships through the straits or words to that effect. This manifestly is beyond this boat. As I say, a wasted opportunity unless these craft are for policing the waters of Gibraltar,plain and simple and don’t meet the original Admiralty spec. If that’s the case we should send out a sensibly Armed (!) River 2 as guard ship which could provide a useful UK presence in the wider Med. Poking around the Eastern med or out to the Azores or wherever in cooperation with our Nato partners. Why we don’t is a mystery.
Sic Transit Gloria.


Policing Gibs waters comes first.

As I said I would think it would be Spain’s job to protect NATO warships.

How big a vessel do you need then?

MoD spiel is MoD spiel.


Not sure what I put there deserves a down vote.

Perhaps the idiot who down voted me could tell me?


The idiot seems to know that this commenting system allows a new vote each day.


It looks like a bluff bow but I suspect it’s a double-hull/catamaran design like the new smaller work boats.

Bloke back down the pub

Preferably something that looks bashed up and rusty and definitely not scared of getting it’s paint scratched when there’s a need to get her elbows out.

Basil Barnes

Could we add a couple of fake torpedo tubes to look more menacing when it chases off those 4,000 tonne Spanish Frigates.

Mike R

Perhaps a bigger version to replace the RM’s landing craft personnel??


Not really suitable. There other better options for fast small LCVP. For example,

Simon m

Not sure the V would definitely need dropping LCVP aren’t that bad it’s just the LCU is too slow

A bit wide but something like Griffon HOV-CAT would be good


Good news for MST, well done.


The upgrade in speed is welcome news.


Their AO is very small so every knot counts 😊


Way to small, not fit for the job. The harassment that the people of Gibraltar have been getting by the Spanish and the Spanish navy is on the increase.No match for the Spanish war ships that regularly enter the waters of Gibraltar..


The Law of the Sea UNCLoS allows innocent passage through a countries territorial waters, including by warships.
Spain has territory both sides of Gibraltar and its patrol boats want to transit from one side to the other, as long as they arent doing anything ‘warlike’. I dont think this is always the case for Spain.
Spains problem is that it cliams Gibraltar has no territorial waters as they werent described in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. Which is silly as no one did at the time apart from.. “The so-called ‘cannon-shot rule’ evolved over the centuries into a principle of international law, permitting states to assert three, and later up to twelve, nautical miles of territorial sea. The principle is today enshrined in Article 2 of UNCLOS, which states that ‘the sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond its land territory and internal waters … to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea’

That was of course the whole reason for getting Gibraltar in the first place, control of the surrounding seas and the UK exercised control a much larger area than it does now


Can they at least have ATGMs mounted? (Thinking FGM 148 Javelin)….ATGMs on such a small ship inside of a very small area should work pretty well as a cheap Anti Shipping missile. Having a .50 BMG mounted is fair for a boat this size ( you could always grab a 20mm Oerlikans- the WW2 version could be mounted anywhere) Importantly I would like to know its sensor suite….E/O and FLIR heavy I hope

Last edited 3 years ago by Sam
Mike D

Surely if they needed more firepower it could come from overwatch from the rock? I would think a 50 cal would be man enough.


Well what assets are available if Spain parked a Frigate nearby and started pointing guns at Gibraltan ships?. Its not the first time that they have crossed the border illegally firing GPMGs as they went. Your point about fire from ashore is fair. The OPVs….now they definately need to have ATGMs and Stingers to hand 😁 Could always relocate HMS Belfast there hehehe 12 x 6inch guns shhhweeeet


Enough fantasy. It’s a Policing vessel not for engaging frigates or even corvettes. Gimpys more than adequate.


Good fast and cheap (to buy and to operate) boats for Gib.

No need for larger hull, no need for improved armaments. If anything is needed, it will be the 3rd and 4th hull with their crew. In this “game”, firing a weapon means “lose”. Keeping contact, keeping claim, be “everywhere” within the Gib territorial water is the thing needed.

Show the flag, not a gun nor missile.

Last edited 3 years ago by donald_of_tokyo

True to some extent…..hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I merely thought having a Javelin (a stinger too) tucked away for a rainy day might be prudent. There isnt too much you could add to a boat that size anyway


Sorry but I do not think neither Javelin nor Stinger be needed.

You shoot, you lose. It is a diplomatic game. Show the flag, keep showing the flag. Pretend you are peaceful, logical and following the law. Make them “bad guys”, not you. Use your soft power. With this approach, Spanish government will be the most annoyed.

Cheap and fast boat is what you need. Can be easily and cheaply deployed 24/7. If Spain sends OPV, they are spending huge oil and manpower to counter your small boats. You already win there.


I never said anything about shooting first lol I am thinking of if Spain fired first, they have been caught firing their weapons inside Gib waters before and they also Pi$$ed off a USN Submarine docked in Gib to the point they were getting intchy trigger fingers. This is the same Spain whom agreed to support Argentina militarily with the Falklands if they helped with Gibraltar. Its always diplomatic until the actual shooting starts. The image of an Archer class Boat trying to order that Spanish guided missile frigate around after it had crossed the border (the same ship that upset the USN sub) was concerning. What does the RN have at Gib that could hurt a modern frigate if it went shooty shooty? Unlikely but not impossible.


Just ignore such things. If needed, prepare dozens of fast boats to secure your way.

If he or she fires, he or she will be fired. If it is US SSN, do you think US will leave it? Actually, it will be a good chance to make US state “Gib is UK”.

If it is UK vessel, you can use it to prove your “rightness”. Defender vs invader. What is needed will be good TV/IR camera, with both wide field of view and zoom. Record it.

“Pen is mightier than sword” for sure, unless you are to declare war against Span.


I dont want to declare war on Spain…quite frankly the UK cant afford to loose any more ships right now. I want the Rock to be armed to the teeth so that if anyone in the Spanish Military has a lightbulb moment and decides to attack Gibraltar…they get thoroughly blown out of the Water – pretty much HMS Hood/ HMS Barham style. Of course let the Spanish rattle their sabers…but let us walk softly and carry a big stick 😉😁. Found out that in the 1980s the RN furnished Gibraltar with Exocets (which the RN were using at the time)


Nobody is attacking Gibraltar FFS.


Why? In what scenario are we going to accomplish anything by loosing off Javelins at the Spanish?
In a cash strapped RN, do we really need to be spending money upgunning vessels that never will be fired upon beyond the barest of minimums?
The money spend on procuring an extra javelin would be better spend on refurbishing the NAAFI or Barracks in Gib.

Gavin Gordon

As shown, they look among the most substantial craft that MST have come up with.


Before we all start loosing off machine guns and missiles please consider how small an area we are talking about.
comment image


Well within pea shooting range 😁


Ooh yes!


My presonal favorite are the people who keep saying that they’re underarmed because they only have GPMG, not 50cal and 20mm….
Because if we are suddenly in a shooting war with spain whether we upgunned the harbour patrol boats will be a deciding factor *rolls eyes*


Who said they are underarmed? I said the arms were fair for a boat of this size and role. I roll my eyes at people whom didnt want an OPV to have a bare minimum Self defence ability against Aircraft and were adamant that the 30mm was fine….the RN and BAE at DSEI 2019 were looking at upgunning the River Batch 2s to a 76mm gun amongst other things such as Missiles and TAS…..How dare they Dern, how dare they?

Last edited 3 years ago by Sam
Rob N

I think a River 2 with a 76mm would be good for Gib as the Spanish regularly violate the Gib territorial waters and we respond with a small boat! If we responded with a more major craft it may act to stop such Spanish activity. Perhaps we could send it into their waters playing the national anthem!

Rob N

Kevin Hastie

As regards naming them, how about Cerberus and Gelert (guard dogs)…?

Mike D

How about HMS Ceuta and HMS Melilla 😉


Basil and Manuel


Shannon and Chesapeake.


Rodney and Del Boy – HMS Del Boy should have been the 3rd Nelson Class BB lol 😂🤣


Are water jets such a great idea. My experience as a passenger on a ferry powered by them was endless breakdowns. The intake would clog with a load of crap. I asked the captain about it once and he said water jets are best suited to open water with less debris. Even with a rake fitted they get clogged apparently.


Lots of similar ‘fast craft’ use jets. For example,


The yanks used them as far back as Vietnam on their PBs…

Trevor Hart

An Ocean going Tug with a hardened ramming bow would be very useful for pesky intruders. There should also be a battery of 105mm Light Field Guns for providing a “hint” for Spanish vessels to leave. After all any Spanish Coast Guard or Navy vessels “straying” IS an act of war if it does not comply with instructions by the boarding party.

Mike McGuire

As a former Gib PBS skipper, the new EOS, fwd gun position and, most importantly, the increased top speed will make these a really useful asset on the Rock.