The 30m fast patrol craft are built by Austal for the Trinidad and Tobago Coastguard (TTCG). The patrol boats were built for deployment in internal waters, the archipelagic territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone of Trinidad and Tobago to carry out surveillance and enforcement operations in the region.
Trinidad and Tobago Coastguard fast patrol craft
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago awarded Austal a TT$390.7m (US$64.3m) contract in April 2008, to build six 30m aluminium fast patrol craft. The order also included additional contracts for regular or unscheduled maintenance of craft and crew training services.
In July 2009, more than 90 personnel from the TTCG completed the vessel training programme, and a further 60 personnel were trained in January 2010. The training enables the crew to obtain the necessary skills required to operate the vessels and perform general maintenance.
Austal provides a training programme for support personnel based on shore. It includes familiarisation of vessel operation, training for ship-based engineers and maintenance training. The programme was conducted during the construction period of vessels.
Austal 30m fast patrol craft construction and development
All the craft are built at Austal’s facilities in Henderson, Western Australia. The six patrol craft are named as TTS Scarlet Ibis, TTS Hibiscus, TTS Hummingbird, TTS Chaconia, TTS Poui and TTS Teak. TTS Scarlet Ibis was launched at Western Australian shipyard in May 2009.
It began sea trials in June 2009. The first three craft completed sea trials in September 2009 and were delivered to the TTCG the same month. The keel for the sixth vessel, TTS Teak, was laid in July 2008. Deliveries of the 30m aluminium fast patrol boats to the TTCG were completed in January 2010.
Three vessels were deployed for the first time in the Port of Spain November 2009, to provide security for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) 2009.
Design features of the 30m fast patrol craft
The TTCG fast patrol craft is based on the generic Austal Patrol 30 design. The monohull design is incorporated in the craft.
Aluminium alloy is used for the construction of the hull and superstructure to reduce the weight of the vessel. The monohull design was given +1A1 HSLC R3 Patrol EO notation by DNV.
The lightweight aluminium construction platform requires less engine power. The boats are designed to reduce operating costs and deliver reliable service.
The 16t craft has an overall length of 30m, moulded beam of 6.4m and moulded depth of 3.2m. Its waterline length is 24.6m and draft is 1.5m. Each vessel can accommodate 12 crew members.
Performance of the Trinidad and Tobago Coastguard (TTCG) boats
The fast patrol craft is designed to meet unique maritime security requirements.
The major roles of the vessel include the protection of maritime traffic and preservation of the marine environment.
The vessels can also be used to prevent illegal trafficking of drugs, ensure safety at sea and perform search and rescue operations.
The vessels can be operated in open sea and littoral environments, except in extreme rough sea environments. The sea trials have proven the manoeuvrability capabilities of the craft.
The craft achieved more than 40kt in speed and small tactical diameter and short crash stop distance. The noise levels inside the vessel are lower, compared with those of similar patrol boats.
Optional weapon capabilities
The boats can be equipped with three general-purpose machine guns and one 20mm cannon.
Propulsion and power
The patrol craft is powered by two MTU 16 cylinder 2000 M92 diesel engines. Each engine is rated at 1,630kW and has a maximum speed of 2,450rpm. It is also equipped with two Rolls-Royce Kamewa 56A3 waterjets providing a top speed of 40kt and a maximum range of 1,000nm at 10kt.