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Iraq receives support vessels

Jan. 2, 2013 at 1:17 AM
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UMM QASR, Iraq, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Two U.S.-made offshore support vessels built for Iraq through a Foreign Military Sales deal have been delivered Iraq's Umm Qasr naval facility.

The U.S. Navy reports delivery of the 196-foot vessels – OSV 1 and OSV 2 –- was made in a joint naval ceremony.

"This occasion reflects the important ties that bind our governments and our commitment to supporting s strong coalition partnership that is based on mutual respect and understanding," said Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. "Combined with the previously delivered Iraqi patrol boats, this acquisition program has offered another unique opportunity for cooperation between our countries."

OSVs, armed with a 30mm gun system and outfitted with fast attack boats to defend it, will provide a variety of capabilities to support Iraq's oil production platforms.

"The two OSVs, procured as part U.S. Navy's Foreign Military Sales Program, will help reconstitute Iraq's ability to enforce maritime sovereignty and security in the Northern Arabian Gulf," the U.S. Navy said.

RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames of Florida is the prime contractor for the OSVs being received by Iraq. Gulf Island Marine Fabricators makes the vessels' hulls and deckhouse and outfits the vessels.

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