Outwardly identical to 14 Archer -class, P.2000-design training patrol boats delivered to Britain's Royal Navy between 1985 and 1988, HMS Tracker was completed on 12 January 1998 and was to be followed by a second sister, the Raider . All but 2 of the 16 craft are unarmed and now are assigned to the Inshore Training Squadron; the other 2, the Ranger and the Trumpeter , are used in local patrol duties at Gibraltar and carry a single 20mm gun forward. The earlier 49-ton (full load displacement) craft can reach 22.5 knots, while the new pair have more powerful MTU diesels that can drive them at 25 knots. Normal complement is 1 officer and 4 enlisted, and 13 trainees can be accommodated. Their 68-foot-long hulls are made of glass-reinforced plastic.
The 12,013-ton (full load displacement), 551-foot French Navy Foudre -class dock landing ship Siroco , seen here on initial builder's trials on 30 January, is to be commissioned this May. Her sister, the Foudre , was commissioned in 1990, and the French Navy hopes to obtain funding to build two more sisters for delivery in 2004 and 2006, with the third ship configured to carry naval cadets and displays of French military equipment to replace the by-then 40-year-old Jeanne d'Arc and the final ship equipped for flagship duties. The diesel-powered Siroco will be able to transport some 470 troops in addition to her crew of 238. The hangar at the forward end of the four-spot, 1,080-square-meter flight deck can accommodate four Cougar helicopters, and the 400-foot-long docking well can hold two 750-ton (loaded) CDIC utility landing craft or ten LCM(8) landing craft. There are 1,360 square meters of combat vehicle parking area. The Siroco is defended by two Simbad twin, manned launchers for Mistral heat-seeking missiles and three 30-mm OTOBredaMauser gunmounts; she has a computerized combat data system and is equipped with the French Syracuse satellite communications system.
Also to be commissioned this May is the U.S. Navy's fourth and final Harpers Ferry -class dock landing ship, the Pearl Harbor (LSD-52), seen here in January in the final stages of fitting out. Displacing 16,695 tons (full load), the Pearl Harbor will accommodate 402 Marines but can berth an additional 102 under emergency conditions. The Harpers Ferry quartet provide 1,208 square meters of vehicle parking and 1,133 cubic meters of combat cargo at the expense of having a shorter docking well that can fit only two LCACs, one LCU, or four LCM(8) landing craft. Defensive armament is a pair of Phalanx close-in weapon systems and two 25-mm Bushmaster guns, and a Mk 31 launcher for the RAM missile system is to be added atop the pilothouse under the Surface Ship Defense System Block 1 program.