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Landlocked Switzerland renews patrol boat fleet

Swiss Army Patrol Boat 16
Photo: Swiss defense ministry

While Switzerland does not officially have a navy, it now operates a fleet of brand new patrol boats that will be used to patrol the country’s border lakes and the river Rhine.

Earlier this month, the Swiss Army’s Motor Boat Company 10 (Mot Bootkp 10) received the final of the 14 new Patrol Boat 16 craft.

The boats are based on the Watercat 1250 models delivered by Finnish company Marine Alutech under a contract from 2016, hence the name Patrol Boat 16. They are named after celestial bodies; planets, stars and constellations, with names including Sirius and Aquarius, Castor and Neptune. Eight of the fourteen units were assembled at the Shiptec shipyard in Lucerne from a delivered shell.

The first four units were christened in Switzerland in September 2019, and the remaining ten earlier this month.

The boats are armed with Kongsberg’s Protector remote weapon stations, have a crew of five and can reach maximum speeds of 65 kilometers per hour. They will mainly be used for surveillance, reconnaissance, patrols and personal rescues.

The Swiss Army commissioned the second tranche of the boats in Stansstad on May 15. 2021. Photo: Swiss defense ministry

The new boats have already been used for the recruit school of boat gunners and for the repetition course of Mot Bootkp 10. The first four units had already been christened in 2019.

Patrouillenboote 16 are replacing the 40-year-old P80 which first entered service in 1982.