December 23, 2012. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
First a news release from the U.S. Navy:
The Iraqi navy and the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command marked the delivery of two 60-meter Offshore Support Vessels (OSV 1/ OSV 2) to the Iraqi navy in a ceremony at the Umm Qasr naval facility, Dec. 19.
The two OSVs, procured as part U.S. Navy’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program, will help reconstitute Iraq’s ability to enforce maritime sovereignty and security in the Northern Arabian Gulf.
“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 Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, 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 are multi-function vessels providing a wide range of capabilities to support Iraq’s oil production platforms. The vessels will provide transport support for crew changes and resupply to the platforms. Each OSV is equipped with a 30mm gun weapon system and outfitted with fast attack boats to defend it and the offshore platforms. The vessels each include a vertical replenishment deck to facilitate the transfer of supplies as needed.
RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames is the prime contractor for the OSV procurement, with Gulf Island Marine Fabricators manufacturing the hull and deckhouse, and outfitting the vessels.
PEO Ships is currently managing the design and construction of all U.S. Navy destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, as well as a wide range of boats and craft for U.S. agencies and foreign military sales.
The Libya Herald reports that French and Libyan navies recently met to discuss enhancing intelligence sharing and joint training cooperation. The talks took place during a port visit by a French frigate to Tripoli, which is said to be part of a larger initiative to expand maritime ties between the two countries, the report notes. France has also provided training to Libyan personnel, and helped to secure that country’s maritime areas, while also preventing migrants from attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, it added.