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Friday 31 May 2024

MLU for OPV Arkoi of the Hellenic Coast Guard

Written by D-Mitch

HCG Arkoi (050)
The sole Europatrol 250 Mk1 offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Arkoi of the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was ordered in 1993 and delivered in November 1994, initially serving the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) as A/L 50. In 2002, the vessel was transferred to the HCG and renamed HCG 050 Arkoi. The boat experienced severe technical problems due to the SDOE's inability to fully utilize and maintain it, resulting in long periods of immobility and limited use. Similarly, in HGC service, Arkoi was quickly immobilized and remained out of service for about ten years, mainly due to the difficulties in repairing the main engines and reducers. In 2014-15, the Greek shipowners Panos and Thanasis Laskaridis, oversaw the complete repair, maintenance, and reactivation of the Arkoi. The refurbishment was completed in December 2015, arriving at a critical time as the 300-ton patrol ship had been laid up for ten years. It was intended to operate primarily in the Eastern Aegean, where the HCG faced significant pressures from refugee and migrant flows.

HCG Arkoi (050) with its machine gun mount.

The renovated vessel is now equipped with two GEC/Paxman Valenta-16CM engines, instead of the previous three for which finding spare parts was extremely difficult and expensive. It should be noted that this decision was made by the Coast Guard itself, which proposed this specific modification. The vessel now achieves a maximum speed of 32 knots, which is deemed highly satisfactory for the range of tasks it is required to perform. The vessel received new ECDIS and an NVTS electro-optical system. The total cost for bringing Arkoi back into active service was €1 million.
In 2017, the two navigation radars were replaced by new ones.

In 2017, the vessel's two Decca radars were replaced with new JRC radars, and a mount for a 12.7mm heavy machine gun (HMG) was installed. However, the vessel currently however faces significant issues and requires a complete refurbishment and modernization.

HCG Arkoi (050)
HCG Arkoi (050)
Some days ago, on May 24, 2024, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy announced an open, non binding technical dialogue regarding the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the vessel, with an estimated cost of €10 million. The completion of the works should be carried out within fourteen (14) months. The preferred bidder will provide a warranty for the vessel and its equipment, for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of final acceptance. Similarly, during the same period, the supplier will be responsible for the technical support (and maintenance) of the vessel and its related equipment, in accordance with the manufacturers' manuals. The training of the HCG personnel will be provided by and at the expense of the supplier, while the expenses for transportation, accommodation, and training will be borne also solely by the supplier.

The general requirements are the following:

  • The primary aspect of the repair and upgrade involves replacing the two (02) existing engines, inverters, and external axial systems of the vessel with three (03) new ones by adding a mid-propulsion installation, as well as replacing part of the equipment.
  • Before starting the work, a study of the redesigned and reconstructed vessel must be conducted, including relevant calculations for strength, stability, propulsion, cavitation, and compatibility of engines and axial systems.
  • The construction materials, equipment, main and auxiliary machinery, and all accessories must be new, unused, and suitable for use by the HCG.
  • The repair must be supervised by a recognized ship classification society.
  • The repair must be carried out after transferring the vessel from the port of Thessaloniki and hauling it to a suitable repair facility or shipyard with ISO certification, infrastructure, lifting machinery, and equipment necessary for performing all required tasks.
  • The maximum desired speed is over 33 knots.
  • During the validity of the Technical Dialogue, interested parties must visit and inspect the vessel.
HCG Arkoi (050)

The shipbuilding works which will be carried out are:
  • Hydroblasting, cleaning, maintenance, and antifouling painting.
  • Thickness measurement of plates.Replacement of plates where necessary.
  • Inspection of the watertightness of all the ship's tanks.
  • Inspection of the ship's bulkheads. Sealing of the bulkhead between the engine rooms.
  • Inspection of air ducts. Installation of a new air supply network in the engine rooms.
  • Removal of dead weights from the aft engine room.
The total cost for bringing Arkoi back into active service by Panos
and Thanasis Laskaridis was €1 million.

Propulsion, engine room equipment and generators:
  • Disassembly and removal of existing engines and their monitoring-control systems.
  • Disassembly and removal of existing inverters and flexible couplings.
  • Disassembly and removal of existing axial systems and rudders (shafts, water-lubricated bearings, propellers).
  • Installation and fitting of three (03) new engines, along with their monitoring-control systems.
  • Installation and fitting of three (03) new inverters.
  • Inspection, repair, installation, and fitting of external propulsion axial systems (port-starboard), rudders, or construction of new ones, in conjunction with the construction and installation of the required components for the new mid-propulsion installation/axial system.
  • Disassembly and replacement of insulation and thermal linings in the engine room and electrical room.
  • Disassembly of existing engine and auxiliary machinery networks and their conversion or replacement with new ones.
  • Replacement of batteries and all necessary wiring for the proper operation of the propulsion system.
  • Installation and connection of new, suitable electronic systems and components, engine control stations, and inverters in the engine room, the bridge, and the upper bridge of the vessel.
  • Disassembly and removal of any other components required to perform the above tasks (e.g., auxiliary machinery, peripheral components, networks), as well as the execution of any related necessary tasks.
  • Disassembly and removal of the existing (03) generator sets and their monitoring-control systems.
  • Installation and fitting of two (02) new main generator sets and one new emergency generator set, along with their monitoring-control systems.
  • Replacement of electrical room and generator set networks.
The partially modernized bridge of HCG Arkoi (050)

Navigation, communications and bridge:
  • Replacement of all navigation and radiocommunication equipment.
  • Replacement of bridge windows and their washing system, where necessary.
  • Installation of a state-of-the-art electro-optical sensor (EOS) system mounted on the mast, featuring a high-definition, color thermal imaging sensor, and a full HD day camera with rotational capability, providing 360-degree visibility, along with the associated control station in the bridge area.

The 47-meter offshore patrol vessel HCG Arkoi (050)

Rescue equipment, safety equipment, auxiliary machinery, others:
  • Inspection, repair, or possible replacement of ship deck auxiliary machinery.
  • Inspection, maintenance, or possible replacement of fire safety-fire alarm systems.
  • Inspection, repair, or possible replacement of sanitation, drainage, potable water, air conditioning, and box networks.
  • Inspection, maintenance, or possible replacement of rescue means.
  • Inspection, repair, maintenance, or possible replacement of ship crane, in conjunction with the proper functioning of the vessel's auxiliary craft.
  • Inspection, repair, or possible replacement of anti-fouling wings.
There is no mention about the armament of the vessel. Nevertheless, the work to be carried out on this vessel will result in a truly modern and valuable large patrol boat for the HCG, at a cost of just €10 million, whereas for such a 47-meter vessel, almost triple the amount is usually required. It is worth noting here that the Arkoi has covered only a few miles in its life, resulting in a significant remaining lifespan.
HCG Arkoi (050)


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