The Tunisian Navy will soon be getting another locally built patrol boat after the 27 metre long vessel, named Utique, was launched in Sfax on Monday.
The vessel (P211) is the product of a partnership between the government and local private shipbuilding company Societe de Construction Industrielle et Navale (SCIN).
SCIN Chief Executive Wassim Koubaâ said the vessel can accommodate a crew of more than 10 people and was 40% cheaper to build than foreign designs. With the exception of the engines, it is entirely made in Tunisia.
The Tunisian Navy in 2015 took delivery of its first locally built patrol boat, the Istiklal (Independence), which was also built by SCIN. It was launched on 21 August that year after construction began in March 2013.
The 80 ton Istiklal (P201) measures 26.5 metres in length and is 5.8 metres wide. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, each of which produces 3 200 horsepower, giving a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 600 nautical miles. Its armament includes a 20 mm cannon and two machineguns and it can accommodate a crew of up to 12 sailors. It is also fitted with a thermal imaging camera.
During the launch on 5 March, SCIN said it is also manufacturing a second small patrol boat for the Navy, which will enter service in a month’s time.