A pair of 33m Protector patrol craft has entered service with the United Arab Emirates Coast Guard at the end of last year. Built by FBM at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, UK, the all-aluminium vessels are based on the hull design used by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Chilean Navy. A further four 26m variants are operated by the UK Customs & Excise.
Having a waterline length of 29.0m and a beam of 6.7m, the 33.0m overall hull is of round bilge semi-displacement form giving, it is claimed by the builder, superior resistance and seakeeping characteristics compared with the simpler and easier to construct hard chine form. Developed in the UK over many years by the National Maritime Institute for fast naval applications, the Protector Class features special topsides with a knuckle running the full length of the craft to enhance stability both in the intact and damaged/flooded conditions. Model tests determined the position of spray deflecting rails.
The vessels achieved speeds of 35 knots on trials, in excess of contractual requirements, from a power plant comprising a pair of MTU 16V 396 TE94 diesels, each developing 2173kW at 2,000 rev/min, driving five-bladed 1,400mm diameter Lips fixed pitch propellers via ZF BW 755 gearboxes with a reduction ratio of 2:1. Two 80kW MTU/Stamford generators are located in a separate room aft of the engine room. Both machinery spaces can be accessed from an 'island' silent control/switchboard room.
Five watertight compartments are provided and the vessel is designed to survive the flooding of one of these. The main engines and generators are resiliently mounted and both machinery rooms are lined with absorption material, while the forward engine room bulkhead and the underside of the aft part of the deckhouse have been given extra insulation. In the majority of the accommodation noise levels are in the 74-75 dB(A) range at full power and, with the exception of the engine room itself, the highest level recorded anywhere is 80dB(A).
More information: Ship and Boat International Jan/Feb2000