Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are the fastest growing segment of the Naval Vessels Market. At least 23 countries are known to have a total of 76 OPVs on order or planned at a value of over $10 Billion. OPVs can be broadly classified into 2 types; 1) High‐end war‐fighting vessels with expensive weapon systems and C4I suites and 2) More basic patrol vessels, designed for sustained low intensity missions and equipped with basic gun armaments, standard navigation sensors and built to commercial standards.
Which of these types a country chooses, depends on its particular naval requirements, resulting from its geographic location, political aspirations and intended role of its naval force. However, the majority of OPV programmes are of the cheaper multi‐role variety. These are being used in an increasing number of roles, including fishery protection, pollution control, fire‐fighting, salvage or search and rescue (SAR), counter‐narcotics, humanitarian operations and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) patrol.
Offshore Patrol Security reported the following:
“A growth in international piracy, along with recent developments in South America, Australia and Asia and the low cost of smaller ships, has created a number of emerging offshore patrol vessel markets. Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are the fastest growing segment of the vessels market. At least 23 countries are known to have a total of 76 OPVs on order or planned at a value of over $10 Billion.
Ships of all sizes have become involved in the Combined Task Force 150 to battle piracy off the Somali Coast: in 2008 one OPV from an undisclosed European nation revealed a state of the art boarding system has helped its crew inspect suspected pirate ships in a safer manner. Australia has already laid out spending plans which will see it add 20 new combatant OPVs to its fleet. In May 2009, the country’s minister for defense Joel Fitzgibbon announced his latest white paper by saying: “The ability to establish local sea control is essential to maintaining freedom of navigation in our immediate region, protecting the ships that carry the life blood of our economy, preventing attacks on Australia or its offshore territories and resources, and supporting land forces.”
Piracy is not the only threat faced by countries in the 21st Century – the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks entered the country after hijacking a fishing boat. The Commons Defence Committee has pointed out that the UK could be vulnerable to similar attack. The Royal Navy only has six warships, two OPVs and a support tanker protecting more than 7,000 miles of coastline. The committee said: “There is a strong case for developing a deterrent capability in relation to threats to civilian maritime targets.”
Territorial disputes form another reason for OPV acquisition. Chile’s government-owned shipyard launched the second of 4 patrulleros de zona maritime (PZM) OPVs under the Chilean Navy’s Danubio IV project in 2008, while Argentina’s Project PAM (Patrulleros de Alta Mar) is for up to 5 OPVs of 1,800 tons. With a length of over 80m, the ships are to have diesel propulsion and to be armed with a 40mm gun. Namibia has started to develop its own naval defence force having relied on South Africa to protect its territorial waters. It has organised training for its naval officers at the Brazilian Navy School. The recent discovery of oil in the South American country has meant that Brazil is another emerging market.”
For more information contact Offshore Patrol Security on +44 (0) 20 7763 6071.
SPI is currently in discussions for OPVs with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.
The Asia Pacific Region
“Maritime security remains a pressing concern for Asian and Pacific nations. Continuing, and by some measures growing, threats of piracy and other disruptions to safe and secure sea commerce in the region has ensured a robust market for maritime security capabilities that will be a centerpiece of many exhibitor displays at IMDEX. The maritime security market, however, is different from other naval market segments in several respects.
First, the buyers of maritime security capabilities tend to be a broader set of agencies and services whose budgets, decision making , and operational cultural can be very different from the traditional navy buyer of specific types of warships.
Second, in contrast to more traditional naval market segments such as submarines or frigates, maritime security is more fragmented and less centered on specific platforms. Most nations in the region operate in a “layered maritime security” framework that includes basic physical security of ports and harbors, land-based coastal surveillance posts, maritime patrol aircraft (fixed and rotary wing), extensive long range and even spaced based command, control, communications (C3), ISR, maritime domain awareness capabilities and, increasingly, unmanned and robotic systems.
Still, the centerpiece of most regional maritime security forces remains the manned patrol vessel. AMI tracks the current and future market for these core sea-based components of maritime security networks—namely patrols vessels ranging from the 7M RHIB boat to 120M Coast Guard Cutters little different in form or function from naval frigates. Today, some 150 OPVs and 6,000 smaller patrol vessels are in the inventory of navies, coast guards and maritime security agencies around the world.
Over the next 20 years, AMI forecasts that about 200 new OPVs and another 1,000 new patrol vessels will be built worldwide. This represents a market value of about USD 35B in new ship and related systems expenditures. In the Asia-Pacific region, the future PV/OPV market is AMI International – HOT NEWSTM April 2011 forecasted to amount to USD 7B over the same period—representing about 20% of the future global market for these types of ships.
Compared to other higher value segments in the naval market—submarines, frigates and amphibious ships–the patrol/OPV market is relatively modest. That said, the PV/OPV segment remains the largest volume segment as measured by numbers of ships and craft expected to be built.
And as good order at sea remains an elusive goal in many parts of the Asia-Pacific region, capabilities that help A-P nations improve maritime security–from fences and sensor stations to fast intercept craft and highly capable ships and aircraft—will remain in high demand. This will make maritime security an ensuring feature of this year’s and future IMDEX events.”
AMI International – HOT NEWSTM April 2011