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This article is about the naval vessel. For the Australian TV series, see Patrol Boat (TV series).
Iliria, an example of a modern Patrol boat of the Albanian Naval Force

A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, police force or customs and may be intended for marine (blue water) and/or estuarine or river ("brown water") environments. They are commonly found engaged in various border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement. They are also often called upon to participate in rescue operations. Vessels of this type include the original yacht (from Dutch/Low German jacht meaning hunting or hunt), a light, fast-sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into shallow waters.


They may be broadly classified as inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). They are warships typically smaller in size than a corvette and can include fast attack craft, torpedo boats and missile boats, although some are as large as a frigate. The offshore patrol vessels are usually the smallest ship in a navy's fleet that are large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean. In larger militaries, such as in the United States military, offshore patrol vessels usually serve in the coast guard, but many smaller nations navies operate these type of ships.


During both World Wars in order to rapidly build up numbers, all sides created auxiliary patrol boats by arming motorboats and seagoing fishing trawlers with machine guns and obsolescent naval weapons. Some modern patrol vessels are still based on fishing and leisure boats. Seagoing patrol boats are typically around 30 m (100 ft) in length and usually carry a single medium caliber artillery gun as main armament, and a variety of lighter secondary armament such as machine guns or a close-in weapon system. Depending on role, vessels in this class may also have more sophisticated sensors and fire control systems that would enable them to carry torpedoes, anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles.

Most modern designs are powered by gas turbine arrangements such as CODAG, and speeds are generally in the 25–30 knots (46–56 km/h; 29–35 mph) range. They are primarily used for patrol in a country's Exclusive Economic Zone. Common tasks are fisheries inspection, anti-smuggling (usually anti-narcotics) duties, illegal immigration patrols, anti-piracy patrols and search and rescue (law enforcement-type of work). The largest OPVs might also have a flight deck and helicopter embarked. In times of crisis or war, these vessels are expected to support the larger vessels in the navy.

PCE-872, a World War II patrol craft escort of the US Navy

Their small size and relatively low cost make them one of the most common type of warship in the world. Almost all navies operate at least a few offshore patrol vessels, especially those with only "green water" capabilities. They are useful in smaller seas such as the North Sea as well as in open oceans. Similar vessels for exclusively military duties include torpedo boats and missile boats. The United States Navy operated the Pegasus class of armed hydrofoils for years, in a patrol boat role. The River Patrol Boat (PBR, sometimes called "Riverine" and "Pibber") is a U.S. design of small patrol boat type designed to patrol waters of large rivers.

Specific nations[edit]



Argentine Naval Prefecture's GC67 patrol vessel


HMAS Armidale of the Royal Australian Navy






PTC Orca, an Orca-class patrol boat of the Royal Canadian Navy



Patrulleros de Zona Marítima FASSMER OPV-80 class. 3 units built under license by ASMAR:

  • OPV-81 "Piloto Pardo"
  • OPV-82 "Comandante Toro"
  • OPV-83 "Marinero Fuentealba". This unit has reinforced hull for Antarctic operations.
  • OPV-84 "Cabo Odger" under construction in ASMAR Shipyard Talcahuano Chile.
  • 06 MICALVI Class Patrol vessels built in ASMAR.
  • 18 Protector Class Patrol crafts built under license by ASMAR.
  • 04 DABUR Class Patrol crafts built in Israel.


ARC Juan Ricardo Oyola Vera PAV-IV class patrol boat of the Colombian Navy




Maritime Gendarmerie Vedette class patrol boat




Hellenic Navy HSY-56A Gunboat HS Aittitos, P-268

Hellenic Navy[edit]

Hellenic Coast Guard[edit]

  • Saar 4[5] acting as Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV)
  • Stan Patrol 5509 OPV
  • Vosper Europatrol 250 Mk1 OPV
  • Abeking & Rasmussen Patrol Vessels, class Dilos
  • POB-24G Patrol Vessels, class Faiakas
  • CB90-HCG
  • Lambro 57 and derivatives, all being boats for coastal patrols

Hong Kong[edit]

Hong Kong Police Force[edit]



The Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel ICGS Vishwast (OPV-30) at the port of Kobe, Japan.



Irish Naval Service Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) LÉ Niamh



Italian Navy patrol boat Cigala Fulgosi
Italian Coast Guard patrol boat U. Diciotti, CP-902


Shikishima (Japan Coast Guard), the largest patrol boat in the world
Japan Coast Guard "Hida" (PL51)



  • Kedah class offshore patrol vessel, (Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • Gagah Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Ramunia Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Nusa Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Sipadan Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Rhu Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pengawal Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Peninjau Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pelindung Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Semilang Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Penggalang Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Penyelamat Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Pengaman Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Kilat Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Malawali Class Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
  • Langkawi Class Patrol Ship,Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency


Protector class patrol boat P52 of the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta.


ARM Oaxaca, an Oaxaca class OPV of the Mexican Navy
Durango class ships, offshore patrol vessels of Mexican Navy



New Zealand[edit]


Royal Norwegian Navy

NoCGV Tor (W334 KYSTVAKT) from Nornen Class of the Norwegian Coast Guard

Norwegian Coast Guard


Philippine Navy



NRP Viana do Castelo, offshore patrol vessel of the Portuguese Navy

Portuguese Navy

National Republican Guard (GNR)



Russian Coast Guard Rubin class patrol boat Zhemchug on the Almaz Shipbuilding Company


Police Coast Guard third generation PT Class Flower Ray(PT65),conducting a sea-rescue demonstration


Sri Lanka[edit]

South Africa[edit]

South Korea[edit]


Meteoro (P-41)



Additionally, the Swedish Navy also operates a smaller and less capable type of patrol boat (Bevakningbåt = "guard boat")

The Swedish Coast Guard operate an additional 22 patrol vessels of various sizes, go to article Coast Guard (Sweden)



United Kingdom[edit]

Two River class offshore patrol vessels of the Royal Navy

United States[edit]

United States Navy[edit]

United States Coast Guard[edit]


  • Type TT-120 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • Type TT-200 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • Type TT-400 patrol boat, Vietnam Coast Guard
  • DN 2000(Damen 9014 class) offshore patrol vessels, Vietnam Coast Guard


  1. ^ "Brazil getting armored vehicles, boats." Space Media Network, 10 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey 55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  3. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey HSY-55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Gunboats Class Asheville". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  5. ^ E.A. Pagotsis (2009). G. Christogiannakis, ed. Hellenic Defence Report 2009-2010 (Yearbook of the magazine Hellenic Defence & Security). Athens: Line Defence Publications Ltd. p. 81. 
  6. ^ Irish Defence Forces website - Naval Service Fleet

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