Parliament: $400m plan to upgrade Police Coast Guard patrol boats

A Police Coast Guard patrol boat at Marina Barrage on Sept 27, 2016.
A Police Coast Guard patrol boat at Marina Barrage on Sept 27, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Police Coast Guard (PCG) will replace its older patrol boats this year as part of a move to strengthen its ability to handle incidents in Singapore's waters, said Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Monday (Feb 2).

It will replace 12 third-generation PT-class patrol boats with 12 fifth-generation ones, and purchase an additional 12 boats.

The plan will cost about $400 million, said Mr Shanmugam.

"This year, to better handle incidents in our coastal waters, our Police Coast Guard will be enhancing its capabilities," he said during the debate on the Ministry of Home Affairs' annual spending plans.

The new boats can operate at speeds faster than 55 knots, and are equipped with advanced surveillance capabilities, said an MHA spokesman.

In comparison, the third-generation boats have a top speed of 40 knots.

The spokesman added that the 24 boats will be delivered in phases from this year, and replace the third-generation boats progressively.

Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon, Mr Shanmugam noted that the "significant upgrade" is on top of the newer vessels the PCG already has, such as the fourth-generation patrol boats and other unmanned surface vessels.