Following a competitive tender, the Armada de Ecuador have announced that Astilleros De Murueta (Spain), using the FBM Babcock Marine Vigilante patrol vessel, has been selected as their choice for their new fleet of patrol vessels. The 45 m Vigilante patrol vessel is a registered design from the FBM Protector class. The vessels, capable of over 25 knots, will provide a new level of capability for the Armada de Ecuador and will be utilised for coastal patrol duties, coupled with an offshore role extending 600 nautical miles into the Pacific Ocean to the Galapagos Islands. The design of the vessel offers an excellent deep-sea patrol capability from an economically sized and priced vessel.
The Vigilante is a further development of the Protector Class, incorporating a wider hard chine hull variation with deep v-sections forward and large skegs. The design features trawler type bows with generous freeboard, a soft nose stem and large flare. The deckhouse is located towards the centre of the vessel to minimise vertical accelerations and is designed to allow the vessel to roll up to 15 degrees alongside a larger vessel without the potential for damage to the superstructure. The flexible propulsion package consists of twin MTU 16V 4000 M90 main engines driving fixed pitch propellers, coupled with a cruise/loiter capability using a smaller single MTU 12V 4000 M90 central engine.
This arrangement allows the vessel to achieve a maximum speed of over 25 knots and also to maintain slow speeds over long periods of time. The triple screw propulsion system, coupled with two rudders, combines mechanical reliability and simple, efficient operation with ease of maintenance. The central cruise/ loiter engine allows the vessel to operate at a cruise speed of 12 knots and have a range of over 3,000 nautical miles. Provisions space and water, including a desalination plant to supplement potable water supplies, allows the vessel to spend at least 15 days at sea without replenishment when carrying a crew of 30.