First Defiant-class NCPV enters service in Dominican Republic
The Navy of the Dominican Republic (Armada de Republica Dominicana - ARD) has received a new coastal patrol craft built by Metal Shark.
The vessel is now in service with the ARD as Betelgeuse after a commissioning ceremony on 21 August. It is the first of 13 Defiant-class near coastal patrol vessels (NCPVs) being produced by Metal Shark under a $54 million FMS contract from the USN to support Caribbean and Central American allies.
Other NCPV operators besides the Dominican Republic will include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The monohull NCPV design is based on the 2606 Standardized Patrol Vessel from Damen Shipyards.
Powered by two 1,600hp Caterpillar C-32 marine diesel engines turning fixed-pitch Michigan Wheel propellers through Twin Disc MGX-6599 transmissions, the NCPV is designed for missions of up to six days at sea in near-shore ocean conditions, supporting an operating crew of ten. It also carries a 5.6m-long aluminium RIB.
The vessel is designed to support a wide range of missions including SAR, border patrol, police and customs duties, counter-narcotics operations and EEZ patrol.
As noted by Shephard Defence Insight, the Metal Shark Defiant design has also been selected as a replacement for the fleet of force protection boats currently in use with the USN Expeditionary Combat Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF).
Subject to annual appropriations, the USN intends to replace approximately 100 to 160 of its existing 25ft (7.62m) and 34ft CRF patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X) platform over the next 15 years.
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