Armed Forces patrol vessel undergoes €7 million overhaul

Over the last 12 years, the P61 has patrolled 72,000 nautical miles and has now undergone a complete overhaul to continue 'securing our country's external borders'

The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) P61 (Photo: the Armed Forces of Malta)
The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) P61 (Photo: the Armed Forces of Malta)

An armed forces offshore patrol vessel has undergone a €7 million overhaul, complete with modern state-of-the art equipment, replacement of its engines and a new integrated automatic system.

The AFM’s 53-metre long P61 has the capability to land and re-fuel a helicopter and has an incorporated rigid hill inflatable boat notch, to safely launch and recover in adverse sea conditions, said the armed forces of Malta.

The P61 was built for the AFM in 2005 by the Ficantieri Navali shipyard in Muggiano in Italy and was designed to cater for their diverse offshore tanks.

Over the last 12 years, the vessel was used for various missions and patrolled 72,000 nautical miles in order to “successfully secure our country’s external borders”.

The continuous use of the vessel took its toll on the on-board systems, “despite regular and rigid maintenance schedule.”

The extensive refit was aimed at overhauling the platform, replacing and upgrading most of the ship’s system. Other works carried out included the overhaul of most of the on-board systems, the introduction of a new integrated platform management system (IPMS), the installation of new communication and navigation equipment and the expansion of on-board personnel accommodation facilities.

75% of the costs were covered by the European Union Internal Security Fund (Borders and Visa) and the remaining 25% from national funds.