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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
MoD trial police boat prototype
The MoD patrol boat prototype
The prototype is quicker and more manoeuvrable than other vessels
A hi-tech Ministry of Defence (MoD) patrol boat undergoing trials in Devon may be introduced in other navy bases.

The 15m (49ft) customised boat would be used for Royal Navy policing, protection and escort duties at bases in Devonport, Portsmouth and the Clyde.

If the trials are successful another 15 vessels would be commissioned over five years.

An MoD spokesman said: "The time is right to upgrade our launches and the technology carried on them."

'Impressive vessel'

It is the first time MoD police have trialled a boat which has been expressly built for their needs.

Built over a period of 15 months, it is powered by two turbo-charged diesel engines and has a top speed of more than 30 knots.

The vessel is designed to be quicker and more manoeuvrable by using water-jet technology for steering.

The MoD spokesman said: "We are still conducting trials but every indication so far is that this launch will be far and away the most capable and impressive vessel of its type in the UK, if not beyond."

Once the boat has successfully completed sea trials then it will be based on the Clyde.


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