The welded aluminum 38 Defiant monohull patrol boats were designed and manufactured by Louisiana based shipbuilder Metal Shark as the result of a multi-year effort by the DCCG to procure a replacement for its fleet of open-cockpit rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIB).
The new enclosed-pilothouse vessels will serve as the DCCG’s main interceptors, patrolling the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba.
“Metal Shark collaborated extensively with the Dutch Ministry of Defense as well as the end users in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten to optimize our design to accommodate a very challenging mission set,” explained Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s Vice President of International Business Development. “From adapting a stern drive propulsion system for crew familiarity and fleet commonality, to altering the vessels’ physical dimensions to clear low bridges while preserving pilothouse headroom, all with the demands of high speed, open-ocean operation in mind, these boats have been specifically tailored for the DCCG.”
Powered by twin Cummins Marine QSB6.7 diesel engines coupled with Konrad 680B counter-rotating dual-prop stern drives, the 38 Defiant reaches top speeds in excess of 45 knots.
A fully-enclosed pilothouse shields the crew from the elements, while Metal Shark’s “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement assures unimpeded visibility, day or night. Specially engineered composite armor panels provide ballistic crew protection from unfriendly fire. Shockwave Corbin shock-mitigating seating has been provided for a crew of six, and anti-fatigue floor covering has been employed in the pilothouse and the belowdecks crew spaces. For extended patrols at sea, accommodations include an enclosed head compartment, galley and v-berth.
“With their fully enclosed pilothouses, shock-mitigating seating and the durability of welded aluminum construction, these patrol boats represent a significant capabilities upgrade for the DCCG, especially in the rough sea conditions prevalent off the coast of Curacao,” Irizarry said. “These new vessels are an asset for the entire region; increasing range and reducing response time while greatly improving the safety of the crews who operate them.”