IDEX 2019

Watercat sharpens its claws [IDEX19D4]

20 February 2019

Finnish boatbuilder Marine Alutech Oy (Stand C-014) is showcasing its new Watercat M22 AMC patrol craft design. Based in Salo, southwest Finland, Marine Alutech specialises in the design and manufacture of fast patrol boats and government vessels. The company has extensive experience in both aluminium and composite boat construction.

The Watercat M22 AMC builds on the design pedigree of the Watercraft M18 AMC combat support service vessel, 12 of which have been delivered to the Finnish Navy. Designed for beach assault, troop transportation, medical evacuation and patrol/escort tasks, the M18 AMC offers full ballistic and CBRN protection for an embarked force of up to 24 troops.

It is fitted with a single Saab Trackfire remote weapon station, plus mountings for manually operated small-calibre weapons.

According to Niko Haro, Marine Alutech’s CEO, the Watercat M22 AMC has been evolved from the M18 AMC to meet the needs of regional navies and maritime security forces requiring a high-speed patrol craft that combines a powerful armament with good troop-carrying capabilities. “We have received feedback from customers who are looking for something with a greater combat capability, and a larger suite of weapon systems,” he told IDEX Show Daily. “They are looking for something that carries a good payload, and offers a high level of ballistic protection for the troops.”

The Watercat M22 AMC is a ‘stretch’ of the existing M18 AMC hull, but with more powerful diesel engines and waterjet propulsors to give a top speed in excess of 50kt.

Space below decks provides for 26-30 seated troops. Armament would typically include a 30mm gun forward, a remote weapon station or 40mm grenade launcher above the bridge deckhouse, and crew-served 12.7mm machine guns on either beam.

“There is also space on the working deck aft for lightweight missile launchers and obscurant dispensers,” said Haro.

“Alternatively, you could use this deck for a rigid inflatable boat if needed. The boat has been designed for easy reconfiguration in just a few hours.”

An integrated bridge and tactical system would provide for navigation and mission management. Sensors would include a navigation radar and an electro-optical/infrared turret.

According to Haro, Marine Alutech is open to co-operation with local industry in the region.

“We have previously undertaken transfer of technology to enable local construction of other boats in our portfolio,” he said.

(384 words)