I think that, in keeping with my calls for using something other than billion dollar Aegis cruisers and destroyers for patrolling against pirates who use $400 boats, AK-47s and RPGs – see Department of Cheaper Pirate Fighting” and links therein – blogger Brickmuppet (who is a Coastie) sent along a link to a company developing multi-purpose Offshore Patrol Vessels.
It might be a little more sophisticated than my original anti-pirate vessel, pictured nearby with the tank on it. Though the thought is the same – a sledge hammer and a fire axe are not right for every job. Sometimes something smaller will do just fine.
According to “V.Navy” the French built vessels can be used for several things:
V.Navy aims to design multi purposes vessels able to fight against piracy, terrorism, illegal fishing (coast guard vessels), but also able to be used as Fast Supply Intervention Vessel.
These kinds of patrol vessels are completely suitable and legitimate to monitor dangerous areas like Gulfs of Guinea or Aden.
And from V. Navy’s brochure: Offshore Patrol Vessels V.Navy has been specially design to fulfill specific missions to fight against piracy, terrorism, illegal fishing (coast guard vessels), but also able to be used as Fast Supply Intervention Vessel.
Able to accommodate 28 persons dedicated to the mission, it can as well transport 24 passengers.
Control station situated at bridge level is composed of two control stations, forward and aft, a debriefing room is also incorporated in the design.
Its great autonomy of 10 days is provided through its large fuel and fresh water tanks.
Main dimensions are:
Length between perpendicular : 46m
Length overall : 48.5m
Beam max : 9.5m
Summer Draft : 1.8m
WaterJets with Quadruple marine diesel main propulsion engines will be utilised for the propulsion system to reach a maximum speed of 28.5 knots
;A. DECK EQUIPMENT
1. Typical equipment
OPV has typical deck equipment for FSIV operation:
– anchor winches
– timber covered deck
– 4 x International reefer connections (415V AC/50Hz) (E1 says: Plug in the comm van! It’s modular!)
2. Specific equipment
One launching ramp is constructed integral to the vessels transom to cater for RIB deployment. There is an extended hinged launch gate at the bottom of the ramp that will be deployed with manual hand winch. A single fixed electric capstan winch is installed on the side bulwark area adjacent to the RIB’s. Removable pulley stations will be placed at the top of the launch ramp and in front of the second RIB cradle for retrieval purpose.
A heavy duty portable platform is constructed to fit into the launch ramp for crew boat operations. The insert provide flush deck and transom for normal crew boat operation and lock in place by simple and robust pin type system for easy removal.
Ballistic protection is achieved by Dyneema and is included to the bulkhead of accommodation and fuel tank areas.
2. Weapons stations
The vessel structure is suitably strengthened to support the weapon and its stresses and a heavy insert plate is fitted to the deck. pedestals or mounts are client supply included.
Arms store is provided on main deck
It looks to me like there’s room for one boat to have the aerostat for long range radar detection, too (see here and CDR Salamander here) And I’m sure the V boats could handle UAVs. USVs and all the other alphabet soup of unmanned ship extenders just fine.
Add to the economy squadron a helicopter capable ship and you are off to the littorals. Even the “idiots-go-to-sea crew” on Whale Wars can operate a helo, after all.
Are these boats or the ones I’ve suggested to be cobbled from offshore oil supply vessels meant to take on mines, submarines, aircraft or fleets of warships? Well, no, they are not. But for fighting pirates and terrorists in littoral waters, they may be just the thing.
I’m willing to bet an American ship yard or two could either whip up something similar or modify existing offshore boats in a jiffy. Putting Americans back to work and offering an opportunity to learn new job skills, etc. Using pork money! Using “economic stimulus money!”