Artist's rendering of Damen Interceptor 1503. Credit: Damen Shipyards Group.
The Damen Interceptor 1503 is manned by six crewmen. Credit: Damen Shipyards Group.
The Damen Interceptor 1503 is intended for anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism missions. Credit: Damen Shipyards Group.
The Damen Interceptor 1503 is driven by three VGT-32 diesel engines. Credit: Damen Shipyards Group.
The vessel offers a maximum speed of 60k. Credit: Damen Shipyards Group.

Damen Interceptor 1503 (DI 1503) is an ultra-high-speed vessel developed by Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group.

The vessel is intended for missions such as patrol, interception, combat of illicit activities, including terrorism and smuggling, and protection of national territory.

Damen’s interceptor vessels also include the 10.97m-long Interceptor 1102, which has a speed of more than 55k.

Royal Moroccan Navy orders and deliveries

Damen Shipyards Group received an order from the Royal Moroccan Navy in December 2015 to supply five Interceptor 1503 vessels for anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism duties in Moroccan waters. The vessels will be built at Damen’s own shipyard. Deliveries will begin in June 2016 and are expected to be completed by early-2017.

Design and features of Interceptor 1503

The Interceptor 1503 features a lightweight design and dependable, hard-chined, non-stepped, deep-V hull. The hull and deck are made of glass and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) composite materials, made of an epoxy resin matrix. The superstructure is constructed from 5,083 and 6,000 series aluminium alloys.

The overall length of the vessel is 14.57m, while its beam measures 2.91m and the displacement varies between 7t and 9t.

The vessel is manned by six crew members and can accommodate up to ten passengers.

It is equipped with a resilient deck fender, 12V DC electrical equipment and Super High Holding Power (SHHP) anchor equipment.

The saddle seats offer increased safety and comfort for the crew members. Spray rails at the bottom and at the chines provide additional comfort by keeping the boat dry.

Two hatches are provided at the front section and additional deck space is provided for search-and-rescue survivors. The cockpit design offers unobstructed visibility.

Auxiliary equipment fitted to the vessel includes three hand-operated and two electrically-driven bilge pumps, impressed current cathodic protection system, twin-electro-hydraulic trim tabs, aerosol fire extinguishing system in the engine room, and full power steering with manual back-up.

Navigation and communications systems on board Interceptor 1503

The vessel features nautical, navigation and communication systems such as a GPS / DGPS chart plotter with C-Map memory cartridge, a GPS / magnetic compass for accurate navigational information, two 100W 12V searchlights, a six-way intercom system with six voiceducers and six radio operators, and a marine radar with X-band frequency.

A UHF / FM transceiver is installed to provide voice and data communications using the frequency ranges between 403MHz and 433MHz and between 440MHz and 470MHz.

The vessel also features two watertight radio systems that are capable of using IMO standard very high frequency (VHF) communications.

Damen Interceptor engine propulsion

The Damen Interceptor 1503 is powered by three Marinediesel Sweden’s eight-cylinder, V8, 6.6l VGT-32 diesel engines, which have a generating capacity of 373kW each.

Bore and stroke sizes of the engine are 103mm and 98mm respectively, and the maximum engine speed is 3,500rpm.

Each engine drives a separate Konrad 660 DP stern drive and stainless steel propeller through a ZF gearbox.

Performance of Interceptor 1503

The propulsion system offers a maximum speed of more than 60k and allows the boat to operate up to a range of 155nm when sailing at a cruising speed of 45k.

The vessel can safely navigate at a draught of 0.8m with drive up and 1.2m with drive down. Its lightweight design and efficient hull form provide safe and reliable operation, as well as good sea-keeping performance at high speeds in all waters.