MarineLink reports on a new patrol boat for the Estonian Coast Guard, only slightly smaller than the Webber class WPCs. What makes this vessel unique, is the use of a hybrid propulsion plant. It can operate in diesel, diesel-electric, or battery powered modes. Reportedly the maximum speed is 27 knots while the electric modes allow quiet, economical, low emissions cruising at up to 10 knots.
“The needs of the patrol boat made it an excellent project to build as a hybrid vessel. For example, the hybrid electric benefit of engine redundancy is important for the Estonian Coast Guard — in case of engine failure, you can switch to diesel-electric or batteries — while you also have improved fuel efficiency, and much lower noise levels in diesel-electric and fully-electric modes when compared to big diesel engines, which is a big benefit for the crew.”
They see these vessels as multi-mission, but there is a strong emphasis on pollution detection.
“While the wave-piercing ship will also be used for patrolling, firefighting and search and rescue missions in Estonian waters, its main role will be monitoring and responding to pollution threats, using state-of-the-art radar that can detect surface contamination, such as oil spills, from up to five miles away.”