Newcastle to be home to $4 million NSW Police tactical vessel

Newcastle’s waterways will soon be a little safer with NSW Police Marine Area Command in line for a new tactical vessel.

There are four Class 5 ‘Zodiac’ boats being rolled out costing $4.1 million each, funded by the NSW Government’s Marine Vessel Replacement Program, which will be based at Newcastle, Sydney, Sans Souci and Port Kembla to support the local Marine Area Commands with inshore and offshore operations.

The vessels will have satellite tracking, have ballistic protection, have 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 vessels will be able to assist with criminal detection, crime reduction strategies including boarding operations, counter terrorism operations, fast roping operations, maritime and port security operations, offshore operations, search and rescue and emergency management responses.

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

NSW Police Force 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.”