A funding from the European Union will allow Malta to acquire a new €34 million offshore patrol vessel.
Another €7.5 million will be set aside for the upgrade of the nation’s existing P 61 offshore patrol vessel.
The Parliamentary Secretary for EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds, Ian Borg, announced June 22 that the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force will be benefiting from almost €45 million of which €33 million are financed from EU funding.
The responsible authority has approved three projects for the Armed Forces of Malta valued over €43 million – under the Internal Security Funds (ISF) program 2014-2020 – aimed at strengthening police in fighting criminality and managing risk.
Two of these projects include the procurement of a new offshore patrol vessel and the improvement of the reaction capability of the current OPV P61.
Another project will see the supply of an EOD/IEDD low emission response vehicle complete with robot and ancillary equipment – under the Internal Security Funds (Police Cooperation) 2014-2020 and worth almost €1.8 million.
Borg also noted that Malta will be investing around €100 million under the Internal Security Fund (ISF) which aims to alleviate internal security and border controls.
The small country in the Mediterranean Sea currently operates a fleet of two Fincantieri-built 53-meter offshore patrol vessels; two Bollinger-built Offshore Protector-class vessels measuring 26.5 meters in length and several smaller inshore patrol vessels.