New lease of life for the AFM’s P61

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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