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Kingston class patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy

The Iliria, an example of a modern Patrol boat of the Albanian Naval Force

PCE-872, a World War II patrol craft escort of the US Navy

A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine (blue water) and/or estuarine or river ("brown water") environments. They are commonly found engaged in various border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement. They are also often called upon to participate in rescue operations. Vessels of this type include the original yacht (from Dutch/Low German jacht meaning hunting or hunt), a light, fast-sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into shallow waters.

Classification[edit | edit source]

They may be broadly classified as inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). They are warships typically smaller in size than a corvette and can include fast attack craft, torpedo boats and missile boats, although some are as large as a frigate. The offshore patrol vessels are usually the smallest ship in a navy's fleet that are large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean. In larger militaries, such as in the United States military, offshore patrol vessels usually serve in the coast guard, but many smaller nations navies operate these type of ships.

History[edit | edit source]

During both World Wars in order to rapidly build up numbers, all sides created auxiliary patrol boats by arming motorboats and seagoing fishing trawlers with machine guns and obsolescent naval weapons. Some modern patrol vessels are still based on fishing and leisure boats. Seagoing patrol boats are typically around 30 m (100 ft) in length and usually carry a single medium caliber artillery gun as main armament, and a variety of lighter secondary armament such as machine guns or a close-in weapon system. Depending on role, vessels in this class may also have more sophisticated sensors and fire control systems that would enable them to carry torpedoes, anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.

Most modern designs are powered by gas turbine arrangements such as Combined diesel and gas, and speeds are generally in the 25–30 knot range. They are primarily used for patrol in a country's Exclusive Economic Zone. Common tasks are fisheries inspection, anti-smuggling (usually anti-narcotics) duties, illegal immigration patrols, anti-piracy patrols and search and rescue (law enforcement-type of work). The largest OPVs might also have a flight deck and helicopter embarked. In times of crisis or war, these vessels are expected to support the larger vessels in the navy.

Their small size and relatively low cost make them one of the most common type of warship in the world. Almost all navies operate at least a few offshore patrol vessels, especially those with only "green water" capabilities. They are useful in smaller seas such as the North Sea as well as in open oceans. Similar vessels for exclusively military duties include torpedo boats and missile boats. The United States Navy operated the Pegasus class of armed hydrofoils for years, in a patrol boat role. The River Patrol Boat (PBR, sometimes called "Riverine" and "Pibber") is a U.S. design of small patrol boat type designed to patrol waters of large rivers.

Specific nations[edit | edit source]

Australia[edit | edit source]

HMAS Armidale of the Royal Australian Navy

Bahamas[edit | edit source]

Bangladesh[edit | edit source]

Brazil[edit | edit source]

Canada[edit | edit source]

PTC Orca, an Orca-class patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy

China[edit | edit source]

Chile[edit | edit source]

  • 02 ASMAR OPV, under license Fasmmer. 1,700 tons, 1 Bofors 40/70 6 cal 0.50, 1 Helicopter, Comandante Toro and Piloto Pardo.

Colombia[edit | edit source]

ARC Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera PAV-IV class patrol boat of the Colombian Navy

Denmark[edit | edit source]

France[edit | edit source]

Finland[edit | edit source]

Germany[edit | edit source]

Greece[edit | edit source]

Hellenic Navy HSY-56A Gunboat HS Aittitos, P-268

Hellenic Navy[edit | edit source]

Hellenic Coast Guard[edit | edit source]

Hong Kong[edit | edit source]

Hong Kong Police Force[edit | edit source]

Iceland[edit | edit source]

India[edit | edit source]

Photograph of the Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel ICGS Vishwast (OPV-30) at the Shinko Pier No. 2, Port of Kobe, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

Indonesia[edit | edit source]

Ireland[edit | edit source]

Irish Naval Service Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) LÉ Niamh

Israel[edit | edit source]

Italian Navy patrol boat Cigala Fulgosi

Italy[edit | edit source]

Italian Coast Guard patrol boat U. Diciotti, CP-902

Japan[edit | edit source]

Shikishima (Japan Coast Guard), the largest patrol boat in the world

Japan Coast Guard "Hida" (PL51)

Malaysia[edit | edit source]

Malta[edit | edit source]

Mexico[edit | edit source]

ARM Oaxaca, an Oaxaca class OPV of the Mexican Navy

Durango class ships, offshore patrol vessels of Mexican Navy

Netherlands[edit | edit source]

New Zealand[edit | edit source]

Norway[edit | edit source]

Royal Norwegian Navy

NoCGV Tor (W334 KYSTVAKT) from Nornen Class of the Norwegian Coast Guard

Norwegian Coast Guard

Philippines[edit | edit source]

Philippine Navy

Portugal[edit | edit source]

NRP Viana do Castelo, offshore patrol vessel of the Portuguese Navy

Portuguese Navy

Russia[edit | edit source]

Singapore[edit | edit source]

Slovenia[edit | edit source]

Sri Lanka[edit | edit source]

South Korea[edit | edit source]

Spain[edit | edit source]

Meteoro (P-41)

Suriname[edit | edit source]

Sweden[edit | edit source]

Thailand[edit | edit source]

Turkey[edit | edit source]

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Two River class offshore patrol vessels of the Royal Navy

United States[edit | edit source]

United States Navy[edit | edit source]

United States Coast Guard[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Brazil getting armored vehicles, boats." Space Media Network, 10 August 2012.
  2. "Gunboats Class Osprey 55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/gunboats_osprey55%20_en.asp. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  3. "Gunboats Class Osprey HSY-55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/gunboats_ospreyHSY55%20_en.asp. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. "Gunboats Class Asheville". Hellenic Navy. 2008. http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/gunboats_asheville%20_en.asp. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  5. E.A. Pagotsis (2009). G. Christogiannakis. ed. Hellenic Defence Report 2009-2010 (Yearbook of the magazine Hellenic Defence & Security). Athens: Line Defence Publications Ltd. pp. 81. 
  6. Irish Defence Forces website - Naval Service Fleet

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