A new high-speed, Tasmanian built tactical watercraft has been launched by PFG Group, a locally owned polymer and metal fabrication company based in Prince of Wales Bay.
“‘The Sentinel’ is designed to penetrate the [ADF], as well as public security and emergency service organisations both domestically and internationally,” Chief Executive Officer of PFG, Rob Inches said in Hobart.
The Sentinel is the culmination of 25 years of research and development by PFG Group that specialise in a range of polymer fabricated products, including Tasmanian aquaculture work boats used by Tassal and Huon Aquaculture.
“We started to hear about the inherent problems experienced by those in Defence and Public Security, like excessive operational downtime for preventative maintenance, instability resulting in capsizing and slamming, and vibrations leading to injury and fatigue of crew.
“We took the feedback we were getting from our existing sea-faring customers that our vessels had proven themselves in punishing situations, and that they were the most competent, safe, and secure vessels on the wild Southern Ocean. We then started to realise we have the potential to be the solution,” Inches said.
PFG has manufactured over one hundred boats in Hobart, including a number for Tasmania Police, also named the Sentinel, and commissioned by PFG in 2001.
The Sentinel is manufactured from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which has a significantly longer work life than aluminium alternatives.
“PFG Group has supplied ten HDPE patrol vessels to Queensland Police. They were chosen for their durability and performance to operate in various environments and conditions. The HDPE vessels have proven themselves in punishing situations and performed above expectations,” Vessel Fleet Manager of Queensland Police, Mark Anderson said.
The high-performance vessels are designed for demanding operations such as patrols, crew transfers, rescues, first responses and dive boat operations, where reliability, manoeuvrability, capability and mission availability are vital.
“There is no hiding the fact PFG is eager to win a contract with the RAN. We are Defence ready; we have the capability, we have the proven performance, we have the future technology that Defence needs. The Sentinel is a world class, proven Australian solution, and it’s built right here in Tasmania,” Inches said.