The first of two new patrol ships have arrived in Gibraltar ready for trials.

The Royal Navy say here that 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.

“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.”

The press release adds:

“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.

You can read more here.

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Jacko
Jacko
5 days ago

Ok so where is the BIG gun to see off those pesky Spaniards?

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

in parts to be assembled too late and will no doubt have a few screws missing and instructions written in chinese.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
5 days ago

Gosh. That seemed to be very quick, only feels like a few pages ago that there was mention of the new boats. It seems to be quite dumpy and aggressive?
Nice to see the m/g mounts and more importantly shields in place.

I hope they last as well as the others.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago

I remember some wag on here dismissing them as ‘cabin cruisers’ when announced 🙂

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Bloody good fishing boats for the English channel!

I can see two placements for fishing rods fore and aft and plenty of room in the cabin for a spot of lunch and a bit of shelter if a squall blows through 😂

istockphoto-1215459669-612x612.jpg
Last edited 5 days ago by Nigel Collins
andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

maybe use them as opv’s while the rivers are converted into corvettes

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

no those are the archers. the university ‘fanny boats’ for etons hooray henrys.

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago

the old sabre and cutlass were held together in places by tape even when i was on old sabre in 1977

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Also pretty boats

Mike O
Mike O
5 days ago

At 40 knots that front gunner must be hanging on for dear life. Good lucking boats though.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
5 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

Yes, same. I thought a remote weapon station would have been better for up front for at speed and bad weather. Hopefully they had good sticky soled boots and a harness!

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

the iranians have mounted cruise missiles on the roof of similar sized craft!!!! bit drastic that one though

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

spellchecker?

Paul42
Paul42
5 days ago

I thought these were supposed to be a more substantial, credible patrol craft? The Spanish OPVs are somewhat larger and certainly not going to be bothered in the slightest by these.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Is it the Metro Class you’re referring to? Six built I believe, not sure on the final count for this type of vessel. I seem to recall Morocco had an interest in them as well.

I wonder if ours are fitted for but not with as the picture seems to suggest!

1200px-Rayo_P42.jpg
Last edited 5 days ago by Nigel Collins
Challenger
Challenger
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Challenging incursions at short notice requires smaller, nimble and fast patrol boats.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Not really necessary when you consider that if the Spanish used force to take Gibraltar it would result in a war between them and the rest of NATO.
So instead they have to resort to lawfare and try to create situations where they assert their claim and are unchallenged by Britain.
All this is meant to be is a floating flag bearer saying “actually it belongs to us.”

Pete
Pete
5 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

The real threat isn’t the Spanish…it’s the risk of Islamic terrorist attack using RIBS. There must have been 3 or 4 such attacks onto tourist beaches in the Med and the Red Sea in last decade or so COVID halted the opportunity for attacks in tourist beaches in the southern Mediterranean lands..not inconceivable that extremists would attack one of the closest western locations in a similar manner. The ability to respond robustly and lightning fast would be key.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago
Reply to  Pete

👍

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
3 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Good points but the Spanish aren’t a threat at all because they aren’t threatening us, merely challenging our sovereignty.
It’s simply required that we state and uphold international law if and when necessary.

Last edited 3 days ago by Tomartyr
andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

a signsaying tresspassers ill be shot.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

I don’t think they are intended to form a line of battle and slug it out with the Spanish navy 🙂 – there is an OPV based at Gibraltar, HMS Trent. These are to patrol the narrow sliver of sovereign waters – they are very fast and just fine for that task.

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  James Fennell

an opv at gibraltar? oo well thats alright then no manuels are going to mess with a mighty river.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Let’s hope not. And vice versa. They are not going to be firming on Spanish vessels. Spain, like France is a close NATO ally. We should ignore the tub thumping stupidity of duplicitous politicos making white noise and trying to make themselves look tough , draping themselves in flags and pretending they care about fish or borders or anything else. Given the choice between their own expenses or cuts to the military, their expenses will win every time . Away from their tedious posturing, the quiet professionals of Nato militaries work closely together, whether in Mali, Poland, the forthcoming French… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
3 days ago

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

mount a torpedo tube on them and they will be. and mount the gun properly

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Afternoon.

I don’t think that the idea is to bother the Spanish. Their silly games are just that, games. Changes nothing of who controls Gibraltar that they occasionally make a point by sailing through the waters.

Going head to head with a fellow European ally is not needed or even necessary unless they act dangerously. If they do, the size and armament of the vessel hardly ,matters, we won’t be playing dodgems with them.

These are a welcome improvement over the old Archers and fine for CT.

Mike
Mike
5 days ago

Did this really cost £5m for one boat? (Saw In another news article). If so why does it cost so much for a small boat with just some.ligjt weaponry?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 days ago

Instead of retiring/giving away our mine sweepers/minehunter they could station a few in Gib to act as the Gib squadron, there is still plenty of life left in those hulls.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
5 days ago

Maintenance cost of very old hulls is high.

Fibreglass isn’t great for patch n mend situations contrary to what other think. It is also very dependent on the workmanship of repairs and how clean dry surfaces being worked on are.

Fibreglass doesn’t last for ever and requires an increasing amount of maintenance. The resins used were very good quality. How do I know? I certified them as compliant. So I also know exactly what their lifetime characteristics were. Don’t get me, wrong VT did a fine job making them.

Last edited 5 days ago by Supportive Bloke
Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 days ago

The one’s that we have given away seem to be doing well.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago

As minehunters.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago

I have had Sandown and Hunts in for deep maintenance and also out of the water and on the blocks. Those hulls have another 50 years in them. No osmosis. Little if any root whitening. The use of SCRIM on the Sandown was a genius decision. The hulls are of outstanding quality and also uniformity. Any damage is dealt with quickly and proffesionally IAW the repair guidance. So step repairs, peel backs and lay ups with plenty of time for phosgene degassing prior to painting etc. I have overseen a fair few repairs to damage and upgrades to systems on… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Difference between sundowns and hunt class? Same or different uses?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

Hunts littoral. Sandown more deepsea.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I should have said they were not designed to move anywhere particularly fast.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago

14knts also fitted with bow thrusters turn on a sixpence

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

True – but that can’t catch up with a speedboat or a fast yacht?

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago

Nor a paddleboarder lots of rhose round Catalan Bay

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 days ago

WOULDN’T KEEP UP WITH A PEDADLO

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago

Too slow and incredibly complex and high maintenance craft – they would find it hard to overhaul a merchant ship. Not suitable for patrolling a few square miles of inshore waters and protect the harbour from terrorists, drug smugglers and people traffickers – which despite the fixation here with our fellow NATO Allies in Spain, is the real threat they are designed to counter.

Last edited 5 days ago by James Fennell
Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The most cost affective way of putting Gib out of action is to lay a few mines just out side the harbour, a routine the Russians are well versed in, having a couple of mine hunters in the squadron would be a good choice instead of giving then away I would have thought.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago

Or fly in an autonomous mine countemeasures system by C-17? That has the advantage of not tying up resources that are highly unlikely to be needed and not risking men in a minefield – which if you have ever been in a minefield, you will appreciate.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

When they become available which is some years off at the moment and the few we do get will be permanently based on our escorts as we will not have any mine countermeasure vessels left. We are laying off vessels on the promise that these replacements “will” be coming on line soon. The same vessels which were design to have a 50 year service life and yet have only been in service since 1981 (Hunt class) and 1998 (Sandown Class) To answer your last comment, the quicker you can get assets to the seen of a mined area to clear… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago

Not years off – one Altas SEA-based system already in service at Faslane, three others under manufacture as part of the UK-French programme (arriving next year) and then a decision of whether to order more of the Thales/Harris sets developed under the UK-France agreement or the Atlas/Raytheon system in test now, which is based on the SEA workboats already in service.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

“In Service” or do you mean “In testing” I do believe that we are still a few years off accepting into service a fully tried and tested unmanned system that will be able to replace the Mine countermeasure force and yet we are laying off these good robust vessels knowing we will not have enough systems to keep up with the commitment we have today let alone what is likely to be around the corner.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Been in a few , at least with Hunts we didn’t have too attach mattresses too the Deckheads

TabYomper
TabYomper
5 days ago

Watch them fit gpmgs instead of 50 cal 😏

David Steeper
5 days ago

I would like to make a suggestion for a catchphrase for this site. ‘It’s being so cheerful what keeps me going’ Either that or groundhog day !

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Whinger’s Weekly?

David Steeper
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

LOL 👍

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

excellent

dave12
dave12
5 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The way the state of army is at moment by volunteer Gov destruction , whining is called for.

Last edited 5 days ago by dave12
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  dave12

With the Army it’s justified.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Guarding against Guardian readers.

dave12
dave12
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

eer no I’m not a Guardian reader .

David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Neither am I.

Challenger
Challenger
5 days ago

Wonder if Sabre & Scimitar will be paid off once both of the new boats are in service and the Archer’s can return home. I was surprised they were retained in Portsmouth once they were brought back.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

They are up for sale.

Challenger
Challenger
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Oh really, didn’t see that. Wonder why they are still in service then.

Matt
Matt
5 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Surprised that the Channel Islands haven’t been asking after those…

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

I think they will be replaced at Portsmouth by the returning Gib patrol boats. You can see them in the DE&S catalogue.

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

£100 lus labour and insurance i’ll sell my canal boat and have one of them

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Sabre was starting to rattle, you don’t want to rattle your sabre in the med, but Portsmouth is ok.

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  Jonathan

don’t wave anything sharp in portsmouth these days or some horrible chav will lamp you with a designer cap. its a rough dangerous city again. stay out of portsea and sommerstown.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 hours ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Lol, my wife trained in Portsmouth and worked at the Queen Alexandra hospital so can’t disagree with you. Although at the time I was living in aldershot so cant really say much.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago

Painting PAS boats Grey now

Nicholas
Nicholas
5 days ago

My question is simple, are there sufficient facilities for getting a brew on?

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

At last a serious question.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

And done with a strong tea bag and a high speed kettle bolted to the galley deck.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Finally, we have someone with their finger on the pulse of RN decision making!

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

FFBNW.

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

no too expensive M.O.D COULDN’T FFORD THEM TO BE ADDED TO THE DESIGN

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
5 days ago

I wonder if an improved version of these will be the replacements for the Archer-Class. Won’t be much of a faff, there really small and cheap and are quick to build.

Challenger
Challenger
5 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

It would be a logical choice but I wouldn’t count on the Archer’s being replaced at all when their time comes.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
4 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Why? the entire program for their replacement isn’t likely to cost more than £20-30 million???

Challenger
Challenger
4 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

It would be great if they were at least partly replaced by a new class. However they will be the lowest priority on the shopping list and given they are primarily used for the University Royal Naval Units I think there will be a question mark over how vital providing dedicated boats actually is.

I can imagine if the URNU’s do continue they could post cadets to the OPV’s or find a private solution to give them some time at sea.

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  Challenger

let the universities buy their own, why does ever other taxpayer have to buy their new toys?

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

The schematic in the Defence Command Paper for the fleet in 2030 included the inshore patrol craft. I don’t think they are going – indeed given Brexit and a new emphasis on littoral warfare they seem to be in vogue now – hence the formation of a coastal forces squadron.

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

These BMT designs have big sisters. This is a 47m version in service with the Qatari Coastguard.comment image

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Now that looks like it needs a few couples of 20 Something models sunbathing and sporting designer swimwear….. baywatch style.

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan
Last edited 4 days ago by James Fennell
Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

They have replaced the place for baywatch models to sunbathe with a Gun mount, what are they thinking.

andy reeves
andy reeves
3 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

A CORACLE COULD DO WHAT AN ARCHER CAN BUT NOT AS FAST

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
5 days ago

HMS Scott in the background… Is that going to be used to help with the crashed F-35. I know they’ve already located it, but it could be quite useful for helping with salvage efforts?

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 days ago

40knots in the bay of Gib, that’s just nasty, I hope it’s fitted for vomit buckets and a good sick birth for suturing and backslabbing.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Claims for Whiplash will be on the up as well

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I thought the only sickbay equipped to deal with backstabbing was in Main Building?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago

What’s funny is the auto correct kept trying to put in backstabbing.

David Barry
David Barry
4 days ago

A Lt Cmdr in command of a patrol boat? Seriously? Typo?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Probably related to the sensitivity of the command and likely need for decisions that could have international relation/political risks.

You would want a reasonably senior johnny on the spot if a Spanish patrol boat was playing geopolitics.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Must have quite a few Ltcdrs Ops as we’ve got such a small surface Fleet now days

David Barry
David Barry
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They must have a multilingual MA in International Relations, Spanish and Arabic. 0

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

SI

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Probably O/C the Gib Squadron – also a new type to bring into service, a bit more challenging.

Last edited 4 days ago by James Fennell
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

In charge of the squadron as you say

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago

All three guns are still handraulic evidently. Speed’s up to the mark, though.

George
George
4 days ago

Just a couple of 7.62mm guns??? It needs at least a deck-mounted .50cal Browning, and a couple of shoulder-fired RPG’s, to be taken seriously. And put a few of them to patrol the North Sea fishing waters and English Channel.

David
David
3 days ago
Reply to  George

3xGPMG. Could be replaced with 3×12.7mm. Begs the question why not fitted with these in the first place…. Surely the budget is not that tight!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  George

Taken seriously by whom? Spain or terrorists in a RIB?

andy reeves
andy reeves
4 days ago

i was drafted for twelve wonderful months onto sabre in northern ireland at the old royal navy base at londonderry. in the mid seventies never been bounced around so much in my life there was always some part of me that ached. there is a real role for ships like these many of such a size are fitted with a single torpedo tube and used to patrol in conjunction with say a corvette or light frigate. the years of the MTB are not consigned to the past many such craft are counted as part of the fleet inventory dilled into… Read more »

geoff
geoff
3 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

hi Andy!
“With Heart and hand and Sword and Shield,
We’ll guard old Derry’s walls!” 😄
Small ships a-la- MTB’s and similar can cause much mischief especially in numbers. The problem of course is in their performance in blue/heavy seas. that Irish Sea for example can be a monster of note-I am sure you have seen the photo of the RNLI Lifeboat entering Portrush in huge seas-not for the fainthearted nor seasick prone-respect!!
Cheers from Durban

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

was it you who put all that graffiti on the walls of houses then? great town, nice docks brilliant golf course.

geoff
geoff
9 minutes ago
Reply to  andy reeves

😂 Not guilty Andy but lived further down the Antrim road near Belfast in a little place called Jordanstown and had family each side of the Belfast Lough in Antrim and Down. Lots of graffiti down there too. Cheers

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

.comment image&f=1&nofb=1

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 hours ago
Reply to  James Fennell

why don’t the M.O.D task the RN with the need to aquire and operate well drilled squadrons of such craft around the rosyth, devonport, portsmouth entrances as long as balance is maintained a single horizontal torpedo tube on the side of an archer is easily produced and maintained. the iranians are buying every fast yacht that bradstock marine can produce then banging a cruise missile on them not for us i’m sure, but a squadron working in lottorial waters with a t31 as mothership makes perfect sense,especially as they are already built