Patrol boat

A patrol boat (also referred to as a patrol craft, patrol ship or patrol vessel) is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defence duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, police force or customs and may be intended for marine (blue water) or estuarine or river ("brown water") environments. They are commonly found engaged in various border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement. They are also often called upon to participate in rescue operations. Vessels of this type include the original yacht (from Dutch/Low German jacht meaning hunting or hunt), a light, fast-sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into shallow waters.


They may be broadly classified as inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). They are warships typically smaller in size than a corvette and can include fast attack craft, torpedo boats and missile boats, although some are as large as a frigate. The offshore patrol vessels are usually the smallest ship in a navy's fleet that is large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean. In larger militaries, such as in the United States military, offshore patrol vessels usually serve in the coast guard, but many smaller nations navies operate these type of ships.


PCE-872, a World War II patrol craft escort of the US Navy

During both World Wars in order to rapidly build up numbers, all sides created auxiliary patrol boats by arming motorboats and seagoing fishing trawlers with machine guns and obsolescent naval weapons. Some modern patrol vessels are still based on fishing and leisure boats. Seagoing patrol boats are typically around 30 m (100 ft) in length and usually carry a single medium caliber artillery gun as main armament, and a variety of lighter secondary armament such as machine guns or a close-in weapon system. Depending on role, vessels in this class may also have more sophisticated sensors and fire control systems that would enable them to carry torpedoes, anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.

Most modern designs are powered by gas turbine arrangements such as CODAG, and speeds are generally in the 25–30 knots (46–56 km/h; 29–35 mph) range. They are primarily used for patrol in a country's Exclusive Economic Zone. Common tasks are fisheries inspection, anti-smuggling (usually anti-narcotics) duties, illegal immigration patrols, anti-piracy patrols and search and rescue (law enforcement-type of work). The largest OPVs might also have a flight deck and helicopter embarked. In times of crisis or war, these vessels are expected to support the larger vessels in the navy.

Their small size and relatively low cost make them one of the most common type of warship in the world. Almost all navies operate at least a few offshore patrol vessels, especially those with only "green water" capabilities. They are useful in smaller seas such as the North Sea as well as in open oceans. Similar vessels for exclusively military duties include torpedo boats and missile boats. The United States Navy operated the Pegasus class of armed hydrofoils for years, in a patrol boat role. The River Patrol Boat (PBR, sometimes called "Riverine" and "Pibber") is a U.S. design of small patrol boat type designed to patrol waters of large rivers.

Specific nations


Patrol Boat Iliria
Iliria, an example of a modern Patrol boat of the Albanian Naval Force


Rio Uruguay garde cote argentin
Argentine Naval Prefecture's GC67 patrol vessel


HMAS Armidale Darling Harbour
HMAS Armidale of the Royal Australian Navy







PTC Orca, an Orca-class patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy



Patrulleros de Zona Marítima FASSMER OPV-80 class. 4 of 6 units planned, built by ASMAR under license of FASSMER Gmbh:

  • OPV-81 "Piloto Pardo"
  • OPV-82 "Comandante Toro"
  • OPV-83 "Marinero Fuentealba". This unit has reinforced hull for Antarctic operations.
  • OPV-84 "Cabo Odger" with characteristics similar to the previous ship
  • 06 MICALVI Class Patrol vessels built in ASMAR.
  • 18 Protector Class Patrol crafts built by ASMAR under license of Fairey Brooke Marine.
  • 04 DABUR Class Patrol crafts built in Israel.


ARC Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera
ARC Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera PAV-IV class patrol boat of the Colombian Navy




  • Eritrea-class 60m patrol vessel, (Eritrean Navy)
  • Protector-class patrol boat


Patrouilleur Gendarmerie Maritime
Maritime Gendarmerie Vedette class patrol boat


Kurki 51 patrol craft in Suomenlinna 2
Kurki (51), a Kiisla-class patrol boat with the Finnish Navy



20080702-Faliron-HS Aittitos P-268
Hellenic Navy HSY-56A Gunboat HS Aittitos, P-268

Hellenic Navy

Hellenic Coast Guard

  • Saar 4[7] acting as Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV)
  • Stan Patrol 5509 OPV
  • Vosper Europatrol 250 Mk1 OPV
  • Abeking & Rasmussen Patrol Vessels, class Dilos
  • POB-24G Patrol Vessels, class Faiakas
  • CB90-HCG
  • Lambro 57 and derivatives, all being boats for coastal patrols

Hong Kong

HKPF Police Boat 3
Sea Panther (PL 3), a Sea Panther-class large command boat with the Hong Kong Police Marine Unit

Hong Kong Police Force



IndianCoastGuard OPV30 Vishwast Kobe 20101129-001
The Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel ICGS Vishwast (OPV-30) at the port of Kobe, Japan.


  • FPB 28, Indonesian Police and Indonesian Customs, 28 meter long patrol boat made by local shipyard PT PAL.
  • FPB 38, Indonesian Customs, 38 meter long aluminium patrol boat made by local shipyard PT PAL.
  • FPB 57, Indonesian Navy, 57 meter long patrol boat designed by Lurssen and made by PT PAL, ASM and heli deck equipped for some version.
  • PC-40, Indonesian Navy, 40 meter long FRP/Aluminum patrol boat, locally made by in house Navy's workshop.
  • PC-60 trimaran, Indonesian Navy, 63-meter-long composite material, is armed with 120 km range of anti-ship missile, made by PT Lundin industry
  • OPV 80 - 80 meter long marine steel, is armed with 57 mm main gun, designed by Terafulk and made by PT Citra Shipyard
  • OPV 110 - 110 meter long marine steel grade A, is armed with 57 mm main gun, made by PT Palindo Marine Shipyard


Irish patrol vessel
Irish Naval Service Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) LÉ Niamh

Irish Naval Service[8]


HPL-21 Ankaran
Slovenian Navy HPL-21, an example of the Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk II-class patrol boat also in service with the Israeli Navy


Cigala Fulgosi (P 490)
Italian Navy Comandanti-class Cigala Fulgosi
Italian Coast Guard patrol boat U. Diciotti, CP-902


JapanCoastGuard Shikishima
Shikishima (Japan Coast Guard), the largest patrol boat in the world
Japan Coast Guard PL51 Hida 2
Japan Coast Guard "Hida" (PL51)



  • Kedah class offshore patrol vessel, (Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • Gagah Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Ramunia Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Nusa Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Sipadan Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Rhu Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pengawal Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Peninjau Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pelindung Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Semilang Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Penggalang Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Penyelamat Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pengaman Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Kilat Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Malawali Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Langkawi Class Patrol Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency


Malta - Gzira - Lazzaretto Creek (MSTHC) 02 ies
Protector class patrol boat P52 of the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta.


A.R.M. Oaxaca (P161)
ARM Oaxaca, lead boat of the Oaxaca-class.
Marina Michoacán
Durango-class offshore patrol vessels in formation.
Mexican Navy;



New Zealand


Royal Norwegian Navy

Kv Tor
NoCGV Tor (W334 KYSTVAKT) from Nornen Class of the Norwegian Coast Guard

Norwegian Coast Guard


Philippine Navy

Philippine Coast Guard



NRP Viana do Castelo, offshore patrol vessel of the Portuguese Navy

Portuguese Navy

National Republican Guard (GNR)

  • Ribamar class



Coast guard boat in SPB
Russian Coast Guard Rubin class patrol boat Zhemchug on the Almaz Shipbuilding Company


Fouladou Senegal Patrol
Fouladou, OPV 190 from Senegalese navy
  • Fouladou (OPV 190), Senegalese Navy
  • Kedougou (OPV 45), Senegalese Navy
  • Ferlo (RPB 33), Senegalese Navy
  • Conejera (Class Conejera P 31), Senegalese Navy
  • Fouta (Osprey 55), Senegalese Navy
  • Njambuur (PR 72), Senegalese Navy


Police Coast Guard PT
Police Coast Guard third generation PT Class Flower Ray(PT65),conducting a sea-rescue demonstration


South Africa

South Korea


Meteoro P41
Meteoro (P-41)

Sri Lanka


  • Ocea Type FPB 98 class fast patrol boat
  • Ocea Type FPB 72 class fast patrol boat


HMS Stockholm in Kalmar
HSwMS Stockholm (PC-11), a Stockholm-class corvette with the Royal Swedish Navy
  • Hugin-class (based on the Norwegian Storm-class, decommissioned) – 16 ships
  • Kaparen-class (Hugin-class modified with better subhunting capacity, decommissioned) – 8 ships
  • Stockholm-class (commissioned as corvettes, later converted to patrol boats) – 2 ships
  • HMS Carlskrona (commissioned as minel layer, later converted to ocean patrol vessel)

Additionally, the Royal Swedish Navy also operates smaller types of patrol boats (Swedish: bevakningsbåt = "guard boat"):

  • Typ 60-class (decommissioned) – 17 ships
  • Tapper class – 12 ships

The Swedish Coast Guard operate an additional 22 patrol vessels for maritime surveillance.



Tuzla Sınıfı Karakol Gemisi
Turkish TCG Karabiga (P-1205), one of the Tuzla-class patrol boats

United Kingdom

Korvetten River-Klasse 7951
Two River class offshore patrol vessels of the Royal Navy

United States

United States Navy

United States Coast Guard


  • Type TT-120 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • Type TT-200 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • Type TT-400 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • DN 2000(Damen 9014 class) offshore patrol vessels, Vietnam Coast Guard


  1. ^ "Brazil getting armored vehicles, boats". Space War. Space Media Network. UPI. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2017. The first-of-class Amazonas was constructed at BAE Systems' Portsmouth facility.
  2. ^ "Offshore Patrol Vessels". BAE Systems. n.d. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. We are supplying three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services to the Brazilian Navy, as well as a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil. P120 Amazonas, P121 Apa and P122 Araguari
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey 55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  5. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey HSY-55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  6. ^ "Gunboats Class Asheville". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  7. ^ E.A. Pagotsis (2009). G. Christogiannakis (ed.). Hellenic Defence Report 2009-2010 (Yearbook of the magazine Hellenic Defence & Security). Athens: Line Defence Publications Ltd. p. 81.
  8. ^ "Naval Service - Defence Forces".
American Flower-class corvettes

The American Flower-class corvettes were those ships of the Flower class built for, or operated by, the United States Navy during World War II.

HMAS Advance (P 83)

HMAS Advance (P 83) was an Attack-class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Constructed during 1967 and commissioned into the RAN in 1968, Advance operated from Darwin and patrolled northern Australian waters.

During her career, the patrol boat shadowed a Soviet trawler, survived Cyclone Tracy, was used for filming of the television series Patrol Boat, and participated in the RAN's first anti-terrorism patrol of the North West Shelf. Advance was replaced in 1980, but continued to operate as a training ship until she was decommissioned in 1988.

Advance was donated to the Australian National Maritime Museum, which has maintained her in an operational condition.

HMAS Bombard (P 99)

HMAS Bombard (P 99) was an Attack class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Insect-class gunboat

The Insect-class gunboats (or large China gunboats) were a class of small, but well-armed Royal Navy ships designed for use in shallow rivers or inshore. They were intended for use on the Danube against Austria-Hungary (the China name was to disguise their function). The first four ships—Gnat, Mantis, Moth and Tarantula—were first employed during the World War I Mesopotamian Campaign on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

Island-class patrol boat

The Island-class patrol boat is a class of cutters of the United States Coast Guard. 49 cutters of the class were built, of which 37 remain in commission. Their hull numbers are WPB-1301 through WPB-1349.

List of United States Coast Guard cutters

The List of United States Coast Guard Cutters is a listing of all cutters to have been commissioned by the United States Coast Guard during the history of that service. It is sorted by length down to 65', the minimum length of a USCG cutter.

Maltese patrol boat P29

Boltenhagen (GS09) was a Kondor I-class minesweeper built in East Germany. After the Volksmarine was disbanded just before the reunification of Germany, she was sold to Malta in 1997 and renamed P29 and was used as a patrol boat. After being decommissioned, she was scuttled as a dive site in 2007 off Ċirkewwa.

Maltese patrol boat P31

Pasewalk (GS05) was a Kondor I-class minesweeper built in East Germany. After the Volksmarine was disbanded just before the reunification of Germany, she was sold to Malta in 1992 and renamed P31 and was used as a patrol boat. After being decommissioned, she was scuttled as a dive site in 2009 off Comino.

Marine Protector-class patrol boat

The Marine Protector class is a class of coastal patrol boats of the United States Coast Guard.

The 87-foot-long vessels are based on the Stan 2600 design by Damen Group, and were built by Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. Each boat is named after a marine predator.The Coast Guard placed its original order in 1999 for 50 boats, which were delivered by mid-2002.

Several additional orders brought the class to a total of 74 ships, with the last, USCGC Sea Fox, being completed in October 2009.

Four additional vessels were built for Foreign Military Sales, with two each going to Malta and Yemen.The Marine Protector class replaced the 82-foot Point class. These older boats had one small and one large berthing area, and they had to stop for five or more minutes to deploy or retrieve their pursuit inflatable boat via a small crane. The last Point-class cutter was decommissioned in 2003.

Patrol Boat, River

Patrol Boat, Riverine or PBR, is the United States Navy designation for a small rigid-hulled patrol boat used in the Vietnam War from March 1966 until the end of 1971. They were deployed in a force that grew to 250 boats, the most common craft in the River Patrol Force, Task Force 116, and were used to stop and search river traffic in areas such as the Mekong Delta, the Rung Sat Special Zone, the Saigon River and in I Corps, in the area assigned to Task Force Clearwater, in an attempt to disrupt weapons shipments. In this role they frequently became involved in firefights with enemy soldiers on boats and on the shore, were used to insert and extract Navy SEAL teams, and were employed by the United States Army's 458th Transportation Company, known as the 458th Sea Tigers. The PBR was replaced by the Special Operations Craft – Riverine (SOC-R)

Stenka-class patrol boat

The Stenka class is the NATO reporting name for a class of patrol boats built for the Soviet Navy and Soviet Allies. The Soviet designation was Project 205P Tarantul (not to be confused with the Tarantul-class corvette). The boats are an anti-submarine (ASW) patrol boat version of the Osa-class missile boat.

Super Dvora Mk II-class patrol boat

The Super Dvora Mark II-class patrol boats is a high-speed class of patrol boats meant for a variety of naval missions from typical off-shore coastal patrol mission profiles to high-speed, high-maneuver littoral warfare. Built by Israel Aerospace Industries for the Israeli Sea Corps, the Super Dvora Mark II is the successor to the Dvora-class fast patrol boats. The Super Dvora Mark IIs have been employed by the Sri Lanka Navy to counter LTTE operations at sea.

Svetlyak-class patrol boat

Svetljak-class patrol boats (NATO name "Svetlyak") are patrol boats designed and built in Russia, and mostly used by the Russian Navy in various missions.

USCGC Citrus (WLB-300)

USCGC Citrus (WAGL-300/WLB-300/WMEC-300) was a Cactus (A)-class seagoing buoy tender built in 1942 in Duluth, Minnesota, and now operated by the navy of the Dominican Republic.

During World War II, the 180-foot ship helped build LORAN stations on the Aleutian Islands. From 1945 to 1979, Citrus largely helped maintain aids to navigation in Alaskan waters. In 1980, she was converted into a medium-endurance cutter homeported at Coos Bay, Oregon.

In 1995, after 51 years' service, it was transferred to the Dominican Navy, which commissioned it Almirante Juan Alejandro Acosta.

USCGC Point Hannon (WPB-82355)

USCGC Point Hannon (WPB-82355) was an 82-foot (25 m) Point class cutter constructed in 1967 for use as a law enforcement and search and rescue patrol boat.

USS Genesee (AT-55)

USS Genesee (AT-55), formerly Monocacy, was a fleet tug in the U.S. Navy in World War I and World War II built in 1905. She was scuttled on 5 May 1942 at Corregidor to avoid capture. Nevertheless, she was raised by the Japanese and designated as Patrol Boat No. 107. She was sunk by American planes on 5 November 1944.

USS Stewart (DD-224)

USS Stewart (DD-224) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second ship named for Rear Admiral Charles Stewart. Scuttled in a port, she was later raised by the Japanese and commissioned as Patrol Boat No. 102. She came back under American control in 1945 after the occupation of Japan.

VMV-class patrol boat

VMV-class patrol boat (Finnish: Vartiomoottorivene) was a series of Finnish patrol boats, which served with the Finnish Coast Guard and the Finnish Navy during World War II.

Zhuk-class patrol boat

The Zhuk-class patrol boat, also known as Project 1400M "Grif", is a small border patrol vessel of less than 40 ton displacement built in the Soviet Union and later in Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine. Over 300 boats were built between 1969 and 1991. Out of those, 110 were sold to 23 other countries.

Exact numbers are unknown, but they were widely exported by the Soviet Union in addition to use in home waters as harbor patrol. The vessels were excellent for this task thanks to a cheap design for mass production. With only a single simple radar unit and manually-aimed machine guns, they made ideal patrol boats. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the abolition of its primary user the, KGB Maritime Guard, it was taken over by the Russian Federal Coast Guard. By 2007 only 15-20 remained in service with the Russian Navy.

Aircraft carriers
Patrol craft
Fast attack craft
Mine warfare
Command and support


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