HMCC Valiant may be seen from time to time at Scrabster,
Caithness as she patrols
the coastal areas of the north of Scotland. Valiant was named at a
ceremony on 10th June 2004 at St Katherine's Dock, East London by Mrs
Pamela Byrne, wife of Customs' Director General of Law Enforcement, Terry
HMCC Valiant is
part of our modern, intelligence-led Customs service and is the latest
cutter to join the fleet. She and her crew will patrol and protect the UK
coastline 24 hours a day, all year round, using up-to-date technology,
intelligence and highly-skilled staff to combat smuggling and enforce
Valiant is a
high-tech, 42 metre vessel built for HM Customs and Excise by Dutch
shipbuilders Damen Shipyards and replaces a vessel of the same name. One
of a highly successful class of fast patrol craft, she boasts
sophisticated navigation, surveillance and communications equipment.
HMCC Valiant – Technical
Majesty's Customs Cutter Valiant, the latest addition to the fleet of
HMCC Valiant is one of four Damen
Shipyard's 42m class vessels to be built for Her Majesty's Customs &
Excise and replaces a vessel of the same name.
Built by Damen Shipyards, Gorinchem,
Holland, she is designed to combat smuggling, protect the UK coastline and
enforce the canalised system of Customs control - ensuring vessels only
dock and land cargo at Customs approved ports. One of a highly successful
class of fast patrol craft, she boasts sophisticated navigation,
surveillance and communications equipment. The operations room and
accommodation layout has been designed to achieve greater efficiency and
endurance. With her advanced tracking and excellent sea keeping
capabilities, HMCC Valiant will be a worthy successor and an excellent
addition to the Customs fleet.
The design of HMCC Valiant is a
development of the earlier Damen Stan Patrol 4100 produced for the
Netherlands, Antilles and Aruba Coastguard under contract from the Royal
Length overall: 42.80 m
Beam: 7.11 m
Draft: 2.52 m
Air Draft: 17.50 m
vessel has been designed to carry out a wide range of Law Enforcement
duties and tailored to meet the specific operational requirements of HM
Customs & Excise.
The hull and superstructure has been
designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency and Lloyds Register of Shipping.
The main structure of the hull, up
to and including the weather-deck and all transverse watertight bulkheads
are constructed from welded mild steel. The marine grade aluminium alloy
superstructure is welded to the hull using explosively - bonded structural
transitional joints to obviate corrosion due to electrolytic action.
The superstructure accommodates an
upper "flying" bridge, wheelhouse, operations room, Commander's and Chief
Engineer's cabins, ships office, mess area and galley. Below deck the hull
is divided into five watertight compartments including main and auxiliary
machinery spaces and accommodation.
Special care has been taken to provide
a high standard of living accommodation for the crew during operations.
Low noise levels and a relaxation area for those off-watch reduces crew
fatigue. The large, well-equipped galley is designed to enable the crew to
prepare meals and drinks in all sea conditions.
Engines and Electrical
The propulsion is provided by twin
Caterpillar 3516B DI-TA ELEC engines, driving two variable pitch
propellers via Reintjes Gearboxes. The variable pitch propellers provided
a loitering capability and with forward bow thrusters the vessel has
excellent manoeuvrability enabling it to turn within her own length.
Two Caterpillar 3304 DI-T
generators sets mounted in the main engine room provide general electrical
The aft deck slipway arrangement for
the rapid deployment of the 7m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) is one of
the special features incorporated into the vessel's design. The RHIB is
stored in the slip-way recess and can be launched by opening the hydraulic
operated transom door and unlocking the quick release hook at the bow.
Retrieving the RHIB can be accomplished at speeds of up to 8 knots. The
RHIB can drive up the slipway almost to the stowed position under its own
power. A hydraulic capstan can then bring the RHIB to the stowed position.
wheelhouse is fully enclosed with windows being fitted in a manner that
ensures good all round visibility. In addition to the steering console and
engine controls, there is a very comprehensive range of navigational
equipment including radar, GPS, echo sounder, speed log, windspeed and
direction indicator, Navtex, magnetic and gyro compasses.
The helm controls are replicated on
the "flying" bridge allowing the vessel to be controlled from there during
boarding and when operating in confined waters. The operations room is
fitted with very high quality communications outfit and the latest in
operational surveillance equipment.
Anyone with information about
illegally imported drugs, tobacco or alcohol or about VAT or fuel fraud;
or anyone with information about businesses that break the tax laws,
competing unfairly with those that abide by them can speak to a Customs
officer in complete confidence. Call Customs Confidential 24 hours a day
on 0800 59 5000, or fax 0800 528 0506, write to Freepost
SEA9391, PO Box 100, DA12 2BR, or e-mail
Any Business needing help or advice
can speak to the Customs National Advice Service 8am - 8pm, Monday -
Friday on 0845 010 9000.
earliest known evidence of a London Port Customs Service dates back to
742AD. By 979AD duties were being collected and national industries
protected from cheap imports.
The first Customs cutter was
purchased in 1149 for £22. Valiant, the latest cutter, cost £4.3 million
and will join a fleet of five ships that constantly patrol and protect the
UK coastline. Valiant has an estimated lifespan of 20 years.
The vessel has a crew of 12 and is
powered by two Caterpillar engines that give a top speed of 26.35 knots.
To combat the drugs threat, the Law
Enforcement Directorate has concentrated its efforts into specialist and
highly-trained groups of officers (Uniformed Detection Officers,
Specialist Investigators and Intelligence Officers) as well as
In the period from April to Dec
2003, Customs took out more than 15,800 kg of Class A drugs destined for
the streets of the UK; disrupted or dismantled 70 criminal gangs
responsible for smuggling significant quantities of Class A drugs; and
recovered £14m of drug-related criminal assets.
To tackle 21st Century criminal
threats, Customs must use 21st Century methods. That means building more
flexible teams that are intelligence-led and able to be anywhere
intelligence tells us there is a threat at any time, whether this is from
terrorism, drugs or infected meat.