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Fateh, a Diciotti-class offshore patrol vessel in service with the Iraqi Navy

A patrol boat (also referred to as a patrol craft, patrol ship, or patrol vessel) is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defence, border security, or law enforcement. There are many designs for patrol boats, and they generally range in size. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, police, or customs, and may be intended for marine ("blue water"), estuarine ("green water"), or river ("brown water") environments.

Per their name, patrol boats are primarily used to patrol a country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but they may also be used in other roles, such as anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fishery patrols, immigration law enforcement, or search and rescue. Depending on the size, organization, and capabilities of a nation's armed forces, the importance of patrol boats may range from minor support vessels that are part of a coast guard, to flagships that make up a majority of a navy's fleet. Their small size and relatively low cost make them one of the most common naval vessels in the world.


Kawachi, a patrol boat in service with the Osaka Prefectural Police

The classification of a patrol boat is often subjective, but they are generally small naval vessels that are used to patrol national waters or a certain jurisdiction. They may be as large as a corvette or even a frigate, though the term may also be used for vessels as small as a yacht or rigid inflatable boat. They can include fast attack craft, torpedo boats, and missile boats. They may be broadly classified as inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) or offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). OPVs and medium size cutters are usually the smallest ship in a navy's fleet that are large and seaworthy enough to patrol off-shore in the open ocean, while IPVs are typically too small to do so and are instead kept in lakes or rivers, or close to coasts; IPVs specifically used in rivers can also be called "riverine patrol vessels". Large patrol vessels, Heavy patrol vessels and Large cutters are the largest type of patrol ships and are typically more than 100 m (330 ft) in length.

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, while others include the sophisticated close-in weapon system. Depending on their role, vessels in this class may also have more sophisticated sensors and fire control systems that would enable them to carry torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, and surface-to-air missiles.[1]


PCE-872, a World War II patrol craft escort of the U.S. Navy

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 obsolete naval weapons. Some modern patrol vessels are still based on fishing and leisure boats.

The United States Navy operated the Pegasus class of armed hydrofoils for years in a patrol boat role. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy ordered 193 aluminum hulled Patrol Craft, Fast (PCFs),[2] also known as Swiftboats, for brown water naval operations. The Patrol Boat, River (PBR, sometimes called "Riverine" and "Pibber") was a fiberglass hulled vessel also designed and used for inland river operations during the Vietnam War, and became an icon of water operations during the war due to its use in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.

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. 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 a navy, though some smaller navies are mostly composed of just patrol boats.

Specific nations


Iliria, an example of a modern patrol boat of the Albanian Naval Force

Albanian Naval Force


Algerian National Navy


Argentine Naval Prefecture's GC67 patrol vessel

Argentine Naval Prefecture

Argentine Navy


Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Armidale of the Royal Australian Navy

Australian Border Force Marine Unit



Royal Bahamas Defence Force


Royal Bahrain Naval Force

35m Fast Patrol Vessels- USA -built by Swiftships, Commissioned in 2021 [4]


The Bangladesh Navy classified its medium size patrol ships as large patrol craft (LPC) which are armed with either anti-ship missiles or torpedoes. Those ships typically have heavier armaments but less range than OPVs.[5][6]

Bangladesh Navy

Large patrol craft
Offshore patrol vessel
Inshore patrol vessel
ASW patrol boat
Patrol gunboat

Bangladesh Coast Guard

Leader-class OPVs of Bangladesh Coast Guard
Offshore patrol vessel
Inshore patrol vessel
Fast patrol vessel
Coastal patrol vessel
Riverine patrol craft

Border Guard Bangladesh

Patrol vessel


Barbados Coast Guard






Royal Canadian Navy

Canadian Coast Guard

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean Coast Guard


Chilean Navy

Cabo Odger (OPV-84), a OPV-80-class offshore patrol vessel of the Chilean Navy

China (PRC)

People's Liberation Army Navy

China Coast Guard


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

Colombian Navy



HDMS Støren (P555), a Flyvefisken-class patrol vessel with the Royal Danish Navy

Royal Danish Navy


Ecuadorian Navy


Egyptian Navy


Eritrean Navy



Kurki (51), a Kiisla-class patrol boat with the Finnish Navy

Finnish Navy

Finnish Border Guard


Maritime Gendarmerie Vedette class patrol boat

French Navy

Maritime Gendarmerie


New Bundespolizei offshore patrol vessel BP 81 Potsdam


Hellenic Navy HSY-56A gunboat HS Aittitos

Hellenic Navy

Hellenic Coast Guard


Honduran Navy

Hong Kong (SARPRC)

Sea Panther (PL 3), a Sea Panther-class large command boat with the Hong Kong Police Marine Unit

Hong Kong Police Force


Icelandic Coast Guard


The Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel ICGS Samarth at sea.
INS Sunayna (P57) returns to Kochi post an 80-day anti piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden

Indian Navy

Indian Coast Guard


Main article: Indonesian Maritime Security Agency § Equipment

KN Tanjung Datu (1101) of the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency


Iraqi Navy

35m Fast Patrol Vessels- USA -built by Swiftships, during the period 2010 - 2014 [15]


List of Irish Naval Service vessels;[16]


Slovenian Navy HPL-21, an example of the Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk II-class patrol boat also in service with the Israeli Navy


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


JDF Coast Guard


Shikishima (Japan Coast Guard), the 2nd largest patrol boat in the world
Japan Coast Guard Hida




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


ARM Oaxaca, lead boat of the Oaxaca-class.
Durango-class offshore patrol vessels in formation.

Mexican Navy


Kotor class frigate of the Montenegrin Navy


Royal Moroccan NavyOPV-70



Royal Netherlands Navy

HNLMS Holland (P840) from Holland Class of the Dutch Navy

Netherlands Coastguard

Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard

New Zealand


Nicaraguan Navy


Royal Norwegian Navy

Norwegian Coast Guard

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



Philippine Navy

Jacinto-class patrol vessel BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37), Philippine Navy
Gregorio del Pilar-class surveillance-frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15), Philippine Navy

Philippine Coast Guard

Ilocos Norte-class patrol boat, Philippine Coast Guard
Parola-class patrol vessel, Philippine Coast Guard
San Juan-class patrol vessel, Philippine Coast Guard
Gabriela Silang-class offshore patrol vessel, Philippine Coast Guard


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

Portuguese Navy

Maritime Police

National Republican Guard


Qatari Emiri Navy

Qatari Ministry of Interior



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


Fouladou, OPV 190 from Senegalese navy


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


South Africa

An Israeli Sa'ar 4-class missile boat, called the Warrior-class strike craft in the South African Navy

South Korea (ROK)


Meteoro (P-41)

Sri Lanka



HSwMS Stockholm (PC-11), a Stockholm-class corvette with the Royal Swedish Navy

Additionally, the Royal Swedish Navy also operates smaller types of patrol boats (Swedish: bevakningsbåt = "guard boat"):

The Swedish Coast Guard operate an additional 22 patrol vessels for maritime surveillance.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Republic of China Navy

Coast Guard Administration


Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard


Turkish TCG Karabiga (P-1205), one of the Tuzla-class patrol boats

Turkish Naval Forces

Coast Guard Command

United Kingdom

Two River class offshore patrol vessels of the Royal Navy

United States

United States Navy

See also: List of patrol vessels of the United States Navy

USS Firebolt (PC-10), a United States Navy Cyclone-class patrol ship

United States Coast Guard

See also: List of equipment of the United States Coast Guard § Watercraft


Naiguatá during sea trials



  1. ^ "MK VI Patrol Boats, United States of America". Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  2. ^ "Special Operations Riverine Craft". Swiftships.
  3. ^ "Border Force progressing fleet upgrades - Australian Defence Magazine". Retrieved 2024-06-21.
  4. ^ "Bahrain Naval Forces Commissions New Patrol Vessels". Naval Post. 14 February 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Bangladesh and Asia's Maritime Balance". Center for International Maritime Security. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Tender specifications for construction of 02 X Large Patrol Craft (LPC) in local shipyard for BN" (PDF). Directorate General of Defence Purchase. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  7. ^ "BDR-Shahjalal – Patrol Vessel – Details and current position IMO 8106472 MMSI 0 | Vessels | VesselFinder". Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  8. ^ "Brazil getting armored vehicles, boats". Space War. Space Media Network. UPI. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2017. The first-of-class Amazonas was constructed at BAE Systems' Portsmouth facility.
  9. ^ "Offshore Patrol Vessels". BAE Systems. n.d. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. We are supplying three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services to the Brazilian Navy, as well as a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil. P120 Amazonas, P121 Apa and P122 Araguari
  10. ^ OOB-31 "Omiš" predan u ruke OS RH (in Croatian)
  11. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey 55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  12. ^ "Gunboats Class Osprey HSY-55". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  13. ^ "Gunboats Class Asheville". Hellenic Navy. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "US Navy Delivers Two More 35 Meter". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Naval Service - Defence Forces".