As you may know, while the UK does have a coast guard, it is not much like the US Coast Guard. Nevertheless all the tasks remain. Their UK Border Force, which is part Customs, part TSA, and part Coast Guard, is their organization for addressing drug and alien migrant interdiction problem. Apparently they are using a patrol boat design which is a bit larger than the Webber class WPCs. Specs and video on the last link.
The Brits have a long history of an active Coast Guard. However, this long history of anti-smuggling has produced few changes in smuggling operations by the smugglers over the past 250 years. There is just so much coast line to watch.
Thanks for referring to the Webber class by the official hull designation of WPC.
HMC Protector is a former Finnish Border Guard patrol vessel “Tavi”, one of three similar vessels built in Finland in 1999-2004. It was not designed by Damen. The Finnish Border Guard gave up the vessels (the two others were sold to Norway) because they were neither strengthened for navigation in ice nor fitted with oil recovery equipment. These three vessels (Telkkä, Tiira and Tavi) will be replaced by the new offshore patrol vessel, Turva, that is currently under construction:
You can find the specs here:
I am not surprised that a government spokesman has the gall to say we have the safest borders in the world. We don’t.
I am glad that hull numbers are being maintained but I am sure work could be found for twice the number as always. The cutters do excellent work and I hope they are allowed to continue to build on their own identity now the old Border Agency has been shut down.
I think there is a gap for something bigger (500t) and faster (30kts or so) to patrol the Thames Estuary (including the coasts of Kent, Essex) round to West Sussex and even the Isle of Wight. Basically the “corner” of the UK closest to the Continent.
As for naval inshore patrol if there was money available I would also look to getting the RNR back to sea in a small way. Coupled with replacement for the URNU boats. The Canadian model would be the one to follow with the RNR taking on (returning to) MCMV duties (for the UK) and the URNU’s Archer P2000 class being replaced with something of similar size and capabilities to the RCN’s Orca class.
Three UK border force cutters are or will be in the Med to help with the immigration crisis. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-announces-uk-deployment-for-nato-mission-in-aegean-sea-to-tackle-migrant-crisis
Sounds like two Border Force patrol vessels have been recalled. https://www.marinelink.com/news/britain-deploys-extra-patrol-boats-461218
More on the Border Force here: https://www.bairdmaritime.com/work-boat-world/maritime-security-world/4254-feature-migrant-challenges-for-europe-s-maritime-security-forces