FBM Babcock Marine, in partnership with licensed shipyard partner Astilleros De Murueta, was awarded a contract for the construction of three 45 m (150 ft.) patrol vessels
for the Coast Guard Command of the Armada de Ecuador (Ecuador Navy).
The Armada de Ecuador announced that Astilleros De Murueta, using the FBM Babcock Marine
Vigilante patrol vessel, was selected as their choice for their new fleet
of patrol vessels. The Vigilante patrol vessel is a registered design from the FBM Protector class, designed as a reliable, capable but cost-effective patrol vessel.
The vessels, capable of over 25 knots, will be used for coastal patrol duties, coupled with an offshore role extending 600 nm into the Pacific Ocean to the Galapagos Islands. The design of the vessel offers an excellent deep-sea patrol capability.
The vessels will be built by Astilleros De Murueta in Gernika, Spain. Augustín Ortiz de Eribe, Managing Director of Astilleros De Murueta says "This is an important contract for Astilleros De Murueta and is an excellent example of the wide capability and reputation for quality that our yard has established. Our licensing partnership with FBM Babcock Marine has allowed us to enter an important new market in the construction of patrol vessels, and the excellent design of this vessel was a major part in winning this contract. The Vigilante is a class leading vessel and offers a reliable, highly capable vessel coupled with being a cost-effective solution to the customer's requirements."
"The selection of the Vigilante for this prestigious contract recognizes the excellent design capability of FBM Babcock Marine, coupled with the renowned build capability of Astilleros De Murueta,” said John Warbey, Managing Director of FBM Babcock Marine. “This 45m Protector Class vessel provides a highly capable and economical solution for a challenging requirement. With the recent deliveries of six 27 m Protector Class training vessels to the U.K., the continuing build of 33 m Protector Class patrol vessels
in Chile, of which 14 have so far been delivered, and the continuing deliveries of 15.5 m aluminum landing craft to the U.K. Ministry of Defense, this maintains FBM Babcock Marine's long heritage in the international patrol boat market and highlights our strong position as a leading designer and builder of commercial, military and law enforcement vessels."
The Vigilante features a rugged steel hull with aluminum deckhouse and is based upon the FBM Protector class, of which 31 have been delivered worldwide, with additional vessels currently in build in Chile. The hull is an all welded steel mono hull form, consisting of a proven chine hull type with deep V sections forward and large skegs. The design features trawler type bows with generous freeboard and a soft nose stem and large flare.
The deckhouse provides an extremely spacious wheelhouse with all round visibility and is fitted with a navigation space, communications room and ships office, with the control station arranged for three-person operation. The wheelhouse features a walk around bridge wing and a flying bridge/observation deck that incorporates wind protection. The deckhouse is located towards the center of the vessel to minimize vertical accelerations and is designed to allow the vessel to roll up to 15 degrees alongside a larger vessel without the potential for damage to the superstructure. Other onboard spaces include a laboratory, two berth sick bay, wardroom, spacious cabins, separate officers and crew mess, a well-appointed galley and adjacent storage areas for dry provisions, cold room and deep freeze.
The vessel is designed to carry a complement of 27 and is equipped with a single berth cabin for the captain, two 2-berth officers cabins, and four crew cabins (three 6-berth and one 4-berth), coupled with separate head and shower facilities. Three additional berths can be added in one of the crew cabins to increase the total compliment to 30 if required. The accommodation is designed for maximum habitability and comfort, with careful choice of layout to take account of vessel movement and the minimization of noise and vibration. Onboard air conditioning has been designed for the local climatic conditions and will provide a comfortable working environment when operating in tropical conditions of up to 40°C and 90% humidity.
The propulsion package consists
of twin MTU 16V 4000 M90 main engines driving fixed pitch propellers, coupled with a cruise/loiter capability using a smaller single MTU 12V 4000 M90 central engine also to a fixed pitch propeller. This arrangement allows the vessel to achieve a maximum speed of over 25 knots, whilst also being designed to maintain slow speeds over long periods of time. The triple screw propulsion system, coupled with two rudders, combines mechanical reliability and simple, efficient operation with ease of maintenance. The engine space facilities include a spacious control room, engineers store and work area.
Operational capability of the Vigilante includes extended patrolling, whilst also being fitted with an emergency towing bit that gives the vessel the ability to tow a craft up to a similar size. The central cruise/ loiter engine allows the vessel to operate at a cruise speed of 12 knots and have a range of over 3,000 nautical miles, whilst provisions space and water, including a desalination plant to supplement potable water supplies, allows the vessel to spend at least 15 days at sea without replenishment when carrying a compliment of 30. A 5.2m fast daughter craft for rapid boarding duties is stowed on the aft work deck and launched using a hydraulic crane, which is also used for handling other embarked equipment, whilst the Vigilante is also designed with the capability of fitting additional fire pollution fighting equipment including oil dispersants and a boom delivery system.