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New high-tech RHIBs launched to tackle crime on the water

Wednesday, 17 November 2021 08:00:46 AM

The Marine Area Command’s (MAC) new fleet of advanced rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) was officially launched in Sydney today.

The four new Class 5 boats are fitted with the latest technology in marine law enforcement, including satellite tracking, ballistic protection, and a high-definition camera with forward looking infrared (FLIR) and real-time streaming capabilities.

With twin 400hp engines powering the boats, a ten-person crew can travel up to 100 nautical miles per hour.

The state-of-the-art capabilities make the boats safer, faster, and more durable and diverse than their predecessors, enhancing policing across NSW waterways and offshore.

The boats will be based in Newcastle, Sydney, Sans Souci and Port Kembla and support the MAC with inshore and offshore operations, including:

• Criminal detection, crime reduction strategies including boarding operations

• Counter terrorism operations

• Fast roping operations

• Maritime and port security operations

• Offshore operations

• Search and rescue

• Emergency management responses

The multi-functional tactical RHIBs can be quickly reconfigured by removing all seats for fast roping operations or multi-medivac recovery operations.

The MAC has trained an additional 10 tactical drivers and 15 Marine Area Command boarding officers to respond to these jobs.

Today (Wednesday 17 November 2011), NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott joined NSWPF Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon, Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter, and Marine Area Commander Superintendent Murray Reynolds, to unveil the new vessels.

The boats were funded by the NSW Government’s Marine Vessel Replacement Program at a cost of $4.1 million dollars.

Australian company Zodiac Milpro Pty Ltd purpose-built the vessels in consultation with the Marine Area Command.

Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said officers attached to the Marine Area Command were instrumental in the design of these fit-for-purpose tactical vessels.

“These Class 5 RHIBs are highly-manoeuvrable and are fitted with the latest navigation and communication equipment, as well as surveillance and tracking systems,” Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said.

“Importantly these fast, agile and responsive vessels are a significant boost to our capabilities to prevent, disrupt and respond to crime on the water.”

Marine Area Commander Superintendent Murray Reynolds said the RHIBs will play a key role in large multiagency operations.

“The RHIBs will continue to play a pivotal role in assisting with large and challenging operations offshore, including drug interdictions.”

“Their manoeuvrability, speed and advanced technology make them a huge asset to NSWPF and our partner agencies in crime detection and disruption, in a range of scenarios.”