RIBS for GIB

Some new equipment for Gibraltar;

Two new 34’ RIB SF were delivered to HM Customs to safely conduct chases and patrols in Gibraltar’s waters.

These vessels will form part of the assets of the newly created Marine Unit. One boat, called “HMC SEARCHER”, has a cabin with a toilet, a galley, 6 seats and air conditioning system and is suitable for staying at sea for long missions. This model is powered by three Mercury Verado 300 Hp outboard motors for a top speed of over 60 knots.

The other boat, called “HMC SEEKER”, has an open air top and 6 seats, and is powered by two Mercury Verado 300 Hp outboard motors for a top speed speed of 60 knots.

Both boats have a stepped hull and are unsinkable because they are built according to FB Design patented Structural Foam® technology.

They feature thermal imaging night vision cameras to spot boats and people at sea during night missions.

My only question, why buy from Italy when the UK has a significant small boat industrial sector?

34gibiliterra3

34gibiliterra1

Gibraltar benefits from a Roal Navy and MoD Police presence and although the Gibraltar Police use British designed patrol vessels built in Croatia, would it not make sense for purchases made with public sector money to benefit the UK or local economy?

EU rules, free market, funding source, lowest cost and best value all have a bearing of course, but you cannot help observing that most other European nations find some way of supporting their own industries with government spending.

Perhaps I am being naive :)

 

 

 

 

 

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GibMariner
GibMariner
July 21, 2015 11:33 am

Perhaps the reason is that HM Customs Gibraltar is independent from HM Customs in the UK and therefore Gib Customs is funded from Gibraltar tax payers’ money, meaning that these boats are not paid for by UK public sector money.

While I prefer to buy British wherever possible and I would prefer closer economic links with Britain, what you’re suggesting here is quite colonial in nature, something both Gibraltar and the UK are trying to get away from, and I don’t appreciate the tone.

In any case, it was probably simply a matter of economics, and as a Gib taxpayer I’d like my money spent wisely. It is also sometimes difficult for Gib-based companies to make purchases such as these straight from the UK due to EU regulations, but I cannot say more here.

At the end of the day, these two RIBs will not make much difference to the problems we face here with a poorly-equipped RN squadron and even worse FCO policies.

Chris
Editor
Chris
July 21, 2015 11:51 am

60kt is quite fast – do they go fast in reverse too?

As for where they are built, its always possible the UK yards chose not to bid for such a small order, knowing full well MOD would want much the same audit trail, documentation, design approvals, depth of qualification etc etc as they would if they were ordering 25 frigates?

Beno
Beno
July 21, 2015 11:57 am
Reply to  GibMariner

I love Gibraltar, one of my favourite places.

I kind of hoping that with 3 more River class coming and a better defence budget, that we can place one of the old or new ones there to fly the flag.

I’m not sure its the best suited for the roles needed, but it would be a good statement of intent.

And support for the people of Gibraltar who do make a significant contribution.

Beno

MadMarsupial
MadMarsupial
July 21, 2015 12:03 pm

Never mind where they were built…can I borrow one for the next RYA Powerboat Level 2 course I have to instruct? Might make it a touch more exciting!

GM
GM
July 21, 2015 12:11 pm
Reply to  Think Defence

No offence taken, it’s probably just the way I read it. I agree with you that there should be more support and closer links between the UK and the overseas territories/dependencies but for a variety of reasons that isn’t always possible.

GibMariner
GibMariner
July 21, 2015 12:42 pm
Reply to  Beno

@TD
No offence taken, just the way it sounded to me. I agree with you that there should be closer links and support between the UK and the overseas territories/dependencies, but unfortunately for a variety of reasons that’s not always possible.

@ Beno
While Spain tends to respond to gunboat diplomacy and the presence of a bigger ship might be more of a deterrent, if the Batch 1 Rivers are kept, it would be a shame to “waste” one tied up at Gib.

I would love to see something like that happen, as I’m sure many people over here would too, I don’t think it’s a good use of RN resources, which as we know are scarce and under pressure.

A bigger vessel patrolling Gib won’t be much more effective than the current boats if FCO policy doesn’t change.

Malcolm Whitlock
Malcolm Whitlock
July 21, 2015 1:46 pm

Could it be offset funding I remember when the 3 Trident D5 Missle Facility Transporters at $6M were delivered to Coulport they were of Italian manufactuer because of US/Italy offset money requirements.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
July 21, 2015 3:23 pm

Should have just gone to the Guardia Civil’s supplier and bought the next model up from whatever they got.
“Like Spain, but better”

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
July 21, 2015 7:13 pm

As someone else suggested on another thread, maybe a couple of hefty tugs would be appropriate backup for the RHIBs and Scimitars. Very difficult for Spain to find any realistic grounds for protest at “civilian” vessels perfectly suited for “assisting” Spanish ships that have “unintentionally” strayed across the border into Gibraltar’s waters. Rather than use one of the Rivers, maybe station one or two of those Border-force cutters there (purely to assist with the Med. humanitarian crisis, of course). Then retire the Scimitars so that the cutters become their permanent replacements. All perfectly reasonable, don’t you think?

Overseas
Overseas
July 21, 2015 8:31 pm

@GibM

The Batch 1 Rivers are to be replaced with the Batch 2, ship for ship. As much as cost, it’s manpower. The RN doesn’t have the matelots for it.

We *might* see one of the B1 Rivers kept as spare for the unmentionables patrol ship. Or as a replacement during maintenance.

The others will be gifted to Brazil.

Gibs
Gibs
July 21, 2015 10:31 pm

These are just the best and most proven designs for the role, fast for the customs role, low line make them great salvation boats and capable to handle almost any sea state. The foam construction means that they float even in pieces, UK does not produce anything similar.

Now is funny to see such a discussion on a couple of light boats while NATO is basically forced to buy the fat expensive and late F35.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
July 22, 2015 9:28 am

Depending on their condition i could see the B1 Rivers being kept, the crew requirements are relatively low (30) and they are currently able to be at sea something like 300 days a year. They might get spread out a bit i.e. maybe one or two might be transferred to the RFA or Border Force.

I could also see them having a more international role, maybe a med patrol vessel tagged to the migrant issue long term forward based out of Malta, RN/RFA core crew with Border Force and Police attached to deal with the migrants.

They could also be kept in their current fisheries role so as to free up B2’s for overseas work.

Aubrey's Shadow
Aubrey's Shadow
July 22, 2015 9:38 am

@GB
“…what you’re suggesting here is quite colonial in nature…. ”

I think that to drag what TD said so far out of context into a colonisation perspective demonstrates an unbelievably overactive imagination, or more evidently a large chip on the shoulder.

Perhaps the process of “decolonisation” hasn’t gone far enough, and Gibraltar ought to stand proud and tall without belittling itself through begrudged reliance on support from the Royal Navy. Be confident and embace Spain without having to demean yourselves any more.

GM
GM
July 22, 2015 1:46 pm

@ Aubrey’s Shadow

What I was referring to was that TD stated “would it not make sense for purchases made with public sector money to benefit the UK or local economy?” – I misinterpreted the author’s intention and took it to mean that TD assumed that HM Customs in Gibraltar is funded by UK taxpayers and therefore the money from these purchases should be spent on UK industry.

As I stated, this is not the case as HM Customs in Gibraltar is funded by the taxpayers in Gibraltar and it is a matter that has nothing to do with the UK.

The “colonialism” aspect came from my (wrong) assertion that the author was suggesting that the UK force Gib into buying British products out of a sense of loyality. This is a matter in which the UK doesn’t have a say as Gib is a separate jurisdiction. If Gib had representation at Westminster and therefore paid taxes to the UK, there might be some logic to that argument.

TD already cleared up that was not the intention and I believe the matter is resolved so I don’t see any need for your involvement or accusations of an overactive imagination or non-existent chips on shoulders.

As for your second statement, I have no idea what you’re harping on about. Yes the decolonisation process has gone far enough, we just need the UN to recognise that fact. There is nothing “belittling” or “demeaning” RN support as it is the UK’s duty to protect its sovereign territory. I can’t see how anyone here would find it demeaning. Honestly don’t know what your problem is.

GM
GM
July 22, 2015 1:46 pm

@ Aubrey’s Shadow

What I was referring to was that TD stated “would it not make sense for purchases made with public sector money to benefit the UK or local economy?” – I misinterpreted the author’s intention and took it to mean that TD assumed that HM Customs in Gibraltar is funded by UK taxpayers and therefore the money from these purchases should be spent on UK industry.

As I stated, this is not the case as HM Customs in Gibraltar is funded by the taxpayers in Gibraltar and it is a matter that has nothing to do with the UK.

The “colonialism” aspect came from my (wrong) assertion that the author was suggesting that the UK force Gib into buying British products out of a sense of loyality. This is a matter in which the UK doesn’t have a say as Gib is a separate jurisdiction. If Gib had representation at Westminster and therefore paid taxes to the UK, there might be some logic to that argument.

TD already cleared up that was not the intention and I believe the matter is resolved so I don’t see any need for your involvement or accusations of an overactive imagination or non-existent chips on shoulders.

As for your second statement, I have no idea what you’re harping on about. Yes the decolonisation process has gone far enough, we just need the UN to recognise that fact. There is nothing “belittling” or “demeaning” RN support as it is the UK’s duty to protect its sovereign territory. I can’t see how anyone here would find it demeaning. Honestly don’t know what your problem is.

a
a
July 24, 2015 10:48 am

What he may be referring to is the way in which Gibraltar seems to transform from being “a separate jurisdiction in which the UK doesn’t have a say” when it comes to not buying UK-built patrol boats, to being “UK sovereign territory which the UK has a duty to protect” when it comes to complaining that the Royal Navy isn’t doing enough.

GibMariner
GibMariner
July 24, 2015 2:26 pm

@ a

No one in Gib complains about the Royal Navy not “doing enough”. The vast majority of people recognise the good work the RN does with the conditions and assets that they are given. The problem is not the RN, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and their policies.

It is not a “transformation”, it is a matter of fact that Gibraltar is a separate juridiction from the UK, without representation at Westminster (same as the other Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies) and Gib is responsible for its internal affairs, while the UK is responsible for certain things such as foreign affairs and relations, defence and ensurance of good government. This is laid out in the constitution of Gibraltar, approved by plebicite and acknowledged and agreed upon by the UK government.

There is no requirement for Gibraltar to buy British products in exchange for Britain carrying out its obligations. As I said, even if more Gibraltarian companies wanted to, it isn’t always easy to buy items such as this from the UK due to EU regulations.

Both yours and Aubrey’s Shadow’s statements show exactly the kind of residual colonial attitude that I referenced in my original post.

Britain does not defend Gibraltar for the interests of the Gibraltarian people, but because it is in Britain’s own interest to do so.

The Other Chris
July 24, 2015 3:01 pm

An attitude that needs to change.

Information covering the direct benefits from the CD’s and BoTS is freely available. Look past the Tabloid/Milliballs/Obama pitch that they are simply Tax Havens.

Without them, the “big four” UK nations would suddenly find trading internationally a lot harder and large numbers of non-financial companies in the UK would have become illiquid during the 2008 crash.

@GibMariner

Congratulations on the improved medal tally in Jersey :)

a
a
July 26, 2015 5:52 pm

“@ a No one in Gib complains about the Royal Navy not “doing enough”. ”

Oh, that’s good to hear. Thanks for putting me right on that, because I could have sworn I heard someone saying something about “the problems we face here with a poorly-equipped RN squadron and even worse FCO policies.”

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
July 26, 2015 6:55 pm

@TOC – as a resident in one of the Caribbean BOTs, I can assure you that we pay plenty of tax, even without any direct taxation. The local Government budget is predicted to be $660m this year (which is slightly more, per capita, than the UK).

stephen duckworth
July 26, 2015 8:33 pm
Reply to  GibMariner

@GB
I personally was unaware of the balance between control/political representation in the CD/ BoTs. In the UK there is little differentiation between population, tax return, geographical size etc to differentiate various MP constituents baliwicks. More direct representation for an equal amount of control would seem appropriate.

GM
GM
July 27, 2015 8:39 am
Reply to  a

@ a
That does not say that the RN doesn’t do enough, merely states the fact that the current patrol boats are not adequate for the jobs required. You also skipped the part where I said “The vast majority of people recognise the good work the RN does with the conditions and assets that they are given”, but why let anything sway your biased and frankly bizarre view.

@ The Other Chris

Thanks! Seems like you’re more up to date on these things than I am lol, just had to check the Island Games medal table!