Milkor will send its MN Centurion interceptor boat to the Middle East in 2021 for demonstrations after having completed sea trials in South Africa.
Milkor has been pursuing a contract for its vessel in the Middle East since the MN Centurion was officially launched in September 2018. The company is also pursuing export opportunities in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The MN Centurion is ready for production now that it has completed sea trials. The trials compromised of the vessel traveling from Richards Bay to Simons Town in late October/early November, racing the Milkor 4×4 armoured personnel carrier.
Milkor said the vessel was pushed to its limit, encountering sea states with swells of four to eight feet high and the crew intentionally buried the nose in waves coming into St Francis Bay harbour to see how it would handle. The boat averaged speeds of 25 to 30 knots in sea states 3 and 4 (up to eight foot swells) and 30 to 40 knots in sea states 1 and 2 (up to one foot swells). A top speed of 47 knots was achieved.
The 12 metre long MN Centurion was first put into the water in mid-2018, with testing done on the Vaal dam. These tests showed the twin-hulled hydrofoil vessel exceeded Milkor’s expectations on the performance side.
The MN Centurion is a stepped hull hydrofoil-supported catamaran, whose design gives it an exceptionally high top speed of around 47 knots, and greatly improved fuel efficiency compared to conventional vessels. Both outboard and inboard engines are offered, with more powerful inboard engines able to deliver even greater speeds.
The vessel’s fibre-reinforced composite frame and built-in counter-radar material gives it a stealth capability. The hull design allows high speed as well as stability and fuel economy – maximum range is between 600 to 1000 nautical miles with an endurance of 5 days at a surveillance patrol speed of 7 knots. Fuel capacity is 3 000 kg.
Milkor said the 10 ton displacement MN Centurion has been designed and configured for multi-role operations, and is ideally suited for long endurance missions. The command and control bridge can be ballistically-protected and air conditioned, able to house the crew in safety and comfort (there are two hot-bunking sleeping berths). Milkor said the high-speed interceptor craft houses an array of surveillance equipment, communications equipment and weapons systems giving it a full spectrum of capabilities for any inshore or offshore operation.
The cabin is totally separate from the hull and is on an air suspension with shock absorbers to reduce the slamming forces in rough seas and effectively negate it. This also means better accuracy for the remotely operated weapon station on the cabin roof. The vessel is compatible with a 12.7 mm machinegun, a 40 mm grenade launcher and could also accept a 20 mm cannon and a missile system on the aft deck.
The vessel features a configurable aft deck space which can be used for personnel transport and the vessel can be configured to operate as an unmanned surface vehicle (USV).
The MN Centurion has been designed for a variety of applications, including surveillance, patrol, counter-piracy and asset protection, and is aimed at coast guards, navies, police and other security operators.
Although the first MN Centurion is 12 metres long, it can be shrunken down to seven metres or scaled up to 30 metres in length.
This article was published by defenceWeb on December 24, 2020.