The 45-knot patrol boat Achernar is one of 40 units of the Swedish-built Stridsbat-90H class delivered to the Mexican Navy during 2000 and 2001. Typed "Patrulla Interceptora," the 18.7-ton full load displacement, aluminum-construction craft are intended to intercept smugglers and also can be employed to transport and beach 21 troops each over a range of more than 200 nautical miles. Since 1990, some 250 of these highly maneuverable and seaworthy craft have been ordered: 172 by the Swedish Navy's Coastal Artillery Service, 21 by Norway, 17 by Malaysia, and the 40 for the Mexican Navy. Another, modified unit serves as an official yacht for the Swedish Navy. Six of the Swedish boats are equipped as battalion command centers, with additional communications facilities fitted in the troop compartment. The Malaysian craft are being fitted with U.S.-made stabilized machine gun mountings, and while most of the craft carry a single 12.7-mm machine gun on a ring mounting amidships, the Swedish units also have two fixed machine guns forward to rake beaches during landings. Powered by two 628-brake-horsepower diesels driving waterjets, the craft have crews of four.
By A. D. Baker III