Two new force protection vessels launched in Estonia in 2020

According to information published by the Estonian Ministry of Defense on April 13, 2021, in his annual report, Estonian Navy received two new force protection vessels built by Baltic Workboats. These vessels, EML Roland and EML Risto mark a new era for the Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001EML Roland patrol vessel (Picture source: Estonian Ministry of Defense)

Roles the force protection vessels can take on include securing firing exercise zones at sea, for navigation practice for cadets, and cooperating with other state agencies, such as the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and its maritime division.

The patrol boats are 18 meters (59 feet) long. They will be fitted with partial ballistic protection, two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, and a remotely controlled weapon station 12.7 mm FN Sea deFNder. The speed of the boats is over 30 knots.

Features of the force protection vessels include a wave cutting bow which can withstand waves of up to 2-3 meters while on operation, and other extreme weather conditions, and its design also engenders greater fuel efficiency (savings of up to 10-15 percent), higher speeds and acceleration than other similar-class vessels (25-54 percent faster, depending on conditions) – obviously an advantage in quick response activities, as well as lower noise levels, which is less taxing on crews and can turn a full 360 degrees with as much as a 60 percent smaller radius than similar vessels.

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