HMS Cutlass' arrival is part of a £10m investment in the Gibraltar Squadron (Picture: Royal Navy).

Navy's new £5m patrol craft arrives in Gibraltar

HMS Cutlass has been delivered to the naval base with the eventual task of patrolling territorial waters.

HMS Cutlass' arrival is part of a £10m investment in the Gibraltar Squadron (Picture: Royal Navy).

A new Royal Navy patrol boat worth £5 million has arrived in Gibraltar for testing.

HMS Cutlass is the first of two new boats, along with HMS Dagger, dubbed "guardians of the Rock" by the Navy.

It is part of a £10 million investment to upgrade the Gibraltar Squadron's craft.

Cutlass and Dagger, the latter due to be delivered in the spring of 2022, are permanent replacements for HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar, which safeguarded Gibraltar for nearly 20 years.

The new boats are 19 metres long, are designed to hit speeds of 40 knots and are equipped with three machine guns and the latest electronic optical equipment to assist in identifying potential threats.

Since 2020, HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer have been the Royal Navy's foremost presence in Gibraltar, joining Pacific 24 RIBs for patrols.

Watch: Gibraltar: The Rock's WW2 and gambling secrets.

Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman, HMS Cutlass' first commanding officer, said they are "delighted” with the boat's arrival.

"She increases the Squadron's capability in providing maritime security and enforcing UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters," he said.

Lt Cdr Colman added the ship will now undergo a series of trials to test her capabilities in the waters of Gibraltar.

"Once these trials are complete, she will conduct the Royal Navy’s safety and readiness checks which will ensure the vessel and crew are ready to conduct operations," he added.

The Gibraltar Squadron's role is to provide security in British Territorial Waters, carrying out patrols daily, as well as escorting and protecting other Royal Navy vessels.

Watch: Last year we spent time with Gibraltar Squadron to find out more about their role.