Maritime & Marine

Published: May 30, 2022 | Updated: May 31, 2022

Dorset company is on the crest of a wave after being chosen as key supplier for £36m contract

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Dorset company has been chosen to build the hull and superstructure for 18 Ministry of Defence Police patrol craft over the course of four years.

Norco’s success follows the completion of two 19m vessels, HMS Cutlass and sister craft HMS Dagger, for the Royal Navy.

Both are now in service patrolling UK waters around the Rock in Gibraltar.

Norco was selected by Marine Specialised Technology (MST) as its main composite supplier for the £9.9m contract with the Ministry of Defence.

Now the company, which has five sites in Dorset and employs more than 150 skilled staff, has been chosen by MST as the key supplier for the £36m contract, supplying 18 MOD Police patrol craft.

Norco designed and manufactured the tools for the project, utilising its years of experience in the marine leisure and defence market producing quality large composite components.

Similarly, the hull, wheelhouse and internal structure are to be sourced from Norco complete, ready for fit out and testing with MST Group.

The second of 18 advanced composite hulls from Norco arrived at MST’s new site at Bromborough on the banks of the River Mersey this month.  

Andy Phillips, Group Technical Director, MST Group, said: “MST’s recent delivery and commissioning of HMS Cutlass into the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron was the culmination of a huge team effort.

“Norco composites was a key member, delivering high quality composite structures and components for HMS Cutlass and her sister craft HMS Dagger.

“MST chose to partner with Norco in the very early stages of the project, recognising that both their technical capabilities and manufacturing facilities would be instrumental for successful project delivery.

“Such was the success of the two Royal Navy 19m builds, MST have now contracted with Norco to build the hull and superstructure for the 18 HPB-1500 boat contract MOD Police patrol craft.”

The new craft will replace the current 14.0m to 15.0m police patrol launches currently in use by the Ministry of Defence Police and the Gibraltar Defence Police.

Key roles will include protecting HM naval bases in the UK and Gibraltar and undertaking high-profile armed patrolling of the UK’s borders.

Ned Popham, pictured left, Project Engineer, Norco, said: “Having been involved from an early stage we were able to work closely with the MST project team and naval architects to optimise tool design, build in design for manufacture, thus ensuring weight targets were repeatably achieved at an early stage.

“Norco are continuing to develop and advance large direct injected infused structures to minimise part weight, resin waste and ensure the highest quality.”

Established in 1985 in Poole, Norco specialises in large composite structures and GRP mouldings for clients across the globe.