UK-based Griffon Hoverwork, part of Gibraltar’s Bland Group, recently delivered the first example of its new model hovercraft to the Malaysian Marine Department. Now, it has won orders for two more of the craft.
One is to be supplied to a private customer, for use in ice conditions, while the other is destined to serve as a tender for an as-yet-unidentified superyacht.
The 8.6-metre, 30-knot vessel is powered by a Ford Tiger diesel engine, linked to an integrated lift fan and electric generator. It can accommodate eight people, or in casualty evacuation mode, two stretcher cases.
These new orders illustrate the trend towards the acquisition of relatively small, agile hovercraft. Unlike RHIBS and conventional patrol boats, such craft can transit over debris, ice, mud and weed, in order to carry out coastal and inshore work, including natural disaster response.
The government of China’s Hong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), meanwhile, is currently evaluating tenders to supply the Hong Kong marine police with two small hovercraft, to patrol the shallow waters and mud flats on the HKSAR’s Western boundary.
Maritime security expert and columnist, Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police, Assistant Secretary for Security in the British Hong Kong Government Security Branch, and Intelligence Analyst in the UK Ministry of Defence. As an independent defence and security analyst he has had some 1,500 articles on maritime security, and geopolitical topics, published in a range of international journals and newspapers. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a past Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Hong Kong branch.