New lease of life for the AFM’s P61
Over the coming months, the Armed Forces of Malta’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) P61 will be given a new lease of life as she will be undergoing her midlife upgrade at the shipyard where she was built more than 10 years ago.
The refit is aimed at upgrading the ship’s degraded systems by modern state-of-the-art counterparts, restoring the vessel’s original capabilities. The refit is planned to cost more than €7 million, with 75% of the costs being covered through the European Union Internal Security Fund (Borders and Visa) 2014-2020.
OPV P61 was built for the Armed Forces of Malta by Fincantieri in Italy and is a modified 53-metre variant of the Diciotti Class Patrol Boat operated by the Italian Coast Guard. Designed to cater for the AFM’s diverse offshore tasks, P61 has the capability to land and re-fuel a small-to-medium sized helicopter and has an incorporated rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) notch to safely launch and recover its RHIB.