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Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard plans to modernise fleet, expand surveillance, and boost SAR capabilities

The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) will focus on modernising its fleet while expanding surveillance and search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities this year, according to its 2022 Annual Plan, which was reviewed by Janes.

The main objectives, according to the plan, include searching for replacements for the fleet's three Damen Stan Patrol 4100 cutters, and potentially the five Boston Whaler Justice 20 craft.

Under the plan, a radar system and a maritime hub centre are scheduled to become operational to increase the service's security, surveillance, and SAR capabilities.

The plan specifically calls for the modernisation of cutters Jaguar, Panther, and Puma, even as DCCG seeks replacements for the ships, with an eye to release draft tenders for new vessels with support from the Ministry of Defence this year.

In addition, in 2022 the service will decide whether to upgrade or replace the fleet's Justice 20 craft in 2023. The small craft are utilised for inland waters and coastal operations.

The plan also notes undisclosed upgrades scheduled for DCCG's 12 Metal Shark Defiant interceptor vessels.

The plan underscores delays owing to the Covid-19 pandemic for the installation of the final two antennas for a new shore-based radar system along the Dutch Leeward Antilles – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. The first six of the eight antennas were installed in 2021, and the remaining two are scheduled for installation in 2022.

The plan also calls for the Multidisciplinary Maritime Hub Bonaire (MMHB), a partnership of regional law enforcement agencies including the DCCG, to become operational in 2022. The MMHB includes a support centre in the island's South Pier, while the coastguard is responsible for the construction of a dock, including a boat lift. The MMHB will combat international criminal activities and manage SAR missions.

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