Iraqi navy gets more patrol boats

Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM
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UMM QASR, Iraq, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy is one patrol boat away from fulfilling a contract to help reconstitute Iraq's maritime force.

Two 115-foot vessels -- the 10th and 11th in a 12-boat contract -- were delivered to the Iraqi navy at the Umm Qasr naval facility this week.

"Our Navy shipbuilding team has again succeeded in working closely with their Iraqi counterparts to deliver these important assets to the Iraqi navy," said Frank McCarthey, the Navy's Program Executive Office Ships' program manager for Support Ships, Boats and Craft.

"Together with the nine patrol boats previously delivered, these two new vessels are a significant step toward meeting Iraq's security requirements in the northern Arabian Gulf."

The boats are armed with 30mm guns and can reach a speed of 30 knots.

Swiftships Shipbuilders LLC of Louisiana is involved in the construction. The Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office in the U.S Navy's PEO Ships manages the acquisition of the patrol boats as a Foreign Military Sales arrangement between Iraq and the United States.

The Navy said the 12th and last vessel under the contract will be delivered this year.

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