Coastal vessel, Maltese patrol boat, armed with a decent autocannon.
A variant of the Italian Diciotti-class (or Saettia MK2) patrol boats used by the Italian Coast Guard, the P61 was built in 2004 in the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy as part of the 5th Italo-Maltese Financial Protocol. Compared to the Diciotti-class, P61 features a helicopter pad and a rear ramp able to launch a RHIB, and is slightly heavier while also needing a smaller crew. It was completed in 2005 and commissioned in the Armed Forces of Malta, and serves as the flagship of the Maritime Squadron, though it is not the largest ship. In 2017, the ship underwent a major refit including new engines to the tune of € 7 million. Throughout its service, it has rescued stranded and capsized vessels. Notably during the European Migrant Crisis, such as in October 2013, when it was the first ship to arrive to rescue a fishing boat carrying ~260 migrants when closer ships ignored the distress call, or in June 2019 where in the span of a week it rescued 244 people. However, as the Maritime Squadron strained to keep up with patrols and an increasing number of rescue operations, a new patrol vessel, P71, was built to take over the role of flagship.
1x1 25mm OTO-Breda KBA
2x1 12.7mm M2
Propulsion: 2 Caterpillar 3516C V16 diesel engines, 6300 hp, driving 2 shafts
Speed: 23 knots (42.6 km/h)
Range: 2100nmi (at 16 knots)
1 “Medium helicopter” (designed for an Agusta-Bell 212 but Malta doesn’t operate the type, seen with an Allouette III)