HMS Dagger arrives in Gibraltar 010422 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
HMS Dagger has arrived in Gibraltar (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Navy's second new patrol boat arrives in Gibraltar

HMS Dagger has arrived in Gibraltar, while two boats she is helping to replace are decommissioned after almost 30 years of service.

HMS Dagger arrives in Gibraltar 010422 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
HMS Dagger has arrived in Gibraltar (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron has taken delivery of its second new £5m patrol boat.

HMS Dagger joins HMS Cutlass in the role of 'guardians of the Rock', replacing HMS Sabre and Scimitar which operated in Gibraltar's waters for nearly two decades.

The two vessels, which have spent almost 30 years in service, were decommissioned during a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on Wednesday.

Sabre and Scimitar's commanding officers both expressed their sadness at seeing the vessels decommission.

Commanding officer of Scimitar, Lieutenant Joshua Tyrie, said it was "bitter sweet" saying goodbye and that it "tugs on the heartstrings".

Dagger and Cutlass will be based at HMNB Gibraltar and will be used to patrol British Gibraltar's territorial waters, as well as support British exercises and operations in the area.

Before being able to fly the White Ensign, Dagger must undergo a rigorous series of sea trials and safety checks. The trials are due to be complete by mid-2022.

Lieutenant Simon Holden, HMS Dagger's first Commanding Officer, said it is "an incredibly proud moment for everyone involved in the project".

"I am looking forward to putting HMS Dagger through her paces and getting her operational as soon as possible."

Cutlass was handed over last year for trials ahead of being declared fully operational this spring.

Dagger and Cutlass are twice as fast as the Navy's Archer Class P2000 fast patrol boats, as well as being smaller and nimbler.

They are also equipped with the latest optical and infra-red systems, enabling crew to identify and track potential threats at range.