The Spanish Tax Agency plays an important role in countering organised crime, money laundering and drug trafficking, both on land and in Spanish waters. The agency recently bolstered its naval capacity with the delivery of Condor, hailed as the largest GRP-built offshore patrol vessel built in Europe. The order is also a first for the boat’s builder, Rodman Polyships, which hopes to use Condor – the debut entry in its Rodman 138 series – as a springboard into the production of 45m+ GRP-fashioned patrol craft.
This larger breed of vessels has been described by shipyard president Manual Rodriguez as “a new segment that is growing at an international level”, and one that could generate an influx of orders at the group’s Moaña facility. The name Condor is a nostalgic nod to the 1980s and 1990s, when the moniker was adopted by a series of camouflaged patrol boats that battled drug traffickers and undertook multiple cocaine busts on the Spanish coastline.
Fast forward to 2021, the new Condor has an overall length of 43m, a breadth of 8.3m and a maximum draught of 1.16m. In addition to a complement of up to 18 crew (or 14 crew and four passengers), housed in eight cabins, the vessel can accommodate six prisoners. The prisoners are held in two cabins below deck, each of which is equipped with a toilet, two beds and a surveillance camera.
A pair of 8,500litre-capacity fuel tanks are dedicated to daily operations, though the vessel also features two fuel storage tanks, each containing up to 13,000litres. This arrangement grants the craft a range of more than 2,000nm at 16knots. As such, “the vessel will be able to provide service to coastal patrol bases covering wide coastline areas…and to perform offshore interceptions,” Rodman says. The vessel has commenced operations in the Vigo area for its first few months of service but will be assigned to different reference bases as missions dictate.
Other onboard tank capacities include 4,000litres of fresh water, 1,000litres of grey water and 1,000litres of black water. The craft can also store 1,480litres of hydraulic fuel oil and 2,000litres of hydraulic lube oil.
Two MTU 12 V 4000 diesels, each rated 1,500kW, drive twin fixed-pitch, five-bladed Teignbridge propellers through ZF 7600 gearboxes, for a top speed of 23knots. Condor has also been equipped with a man overboard rescue system, enabling the boat to participate in humanitarian emergencies, and a Humphree stabiliser system: mainly to reduce rolling and pitching when the vessel is both idling and in pursuit, but also for safer operations and improved fuel economy. A water cannon will also enable Condor to support firefighting operations.