The Dutch shipbuilder contracted to build six Long Range Patrol Vessels (LRPVs) for the Somali Coast Guard has announced that it remains on course to deliver the vessels as well as training and surveillance equipment.
Updating the Somali ambassador to the European Union, Ali Said Faqi, on the progress of the vessel construction during a recent visit to its premises in Rotterdam, top officials of the Atlantic Marine and Offshore Group said the company is in the final stages of the ship-building programme.
The company assured Ambassador Faqi that deliveries would be made in time before the end of this year. The vessels were ordered in July 2013 as part of a larger contract to build up the Somali Coast Guard. The Atlantic Marine and Offshore Group will build, maintain and operate the coast guard fleet and will develop a coast guard training centre to train coast guard personnel, security officers and shore based support personnel. In Mogadishu the Atlantic Marine and Offshore Group will establish an operational base, including a ship repair facility.
The Long Range Patrol Vessels being built for Somalia will be equipped with high-speed off-shore interceptor boats. A photo of a model of the new vessels showed a Damen Stan Patrol 5009 design while photographs of the visit showed officials in Damen hats, indicating Damen is supplying the vessels. The Stan Patrol 5009 vessels are 50 metres long, have maximum speed of 30 knots and 18-26 crewmembers. They feature the innovative axe bow concept which cuts through waves rather than slamming over them for superior seakeeping performance.
Somali Coast Guard operations will be managed in coordination with the Somali Coastguard Directorate.
Among other duties, the Somali Coastguard is charged with carrying out patrols which include monitoring and surveillance functions over the Somali territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The training and equipping of the new Somali Coast Guard is funded by the European Union and the USA. Individual states, such as Turkey, have also supported the re-establishment of the Somali naval forces to take charge of local security duties after years of piracy off the country’s Indian Ocean coast.