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9 juillet 2013 2 09 /07 /juillet /2013 12:30
US Navy Ups Gulf Region Patrol Vessel Presence

Cyclone-Class Patrol Ships         


05/07/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


The United States Navy has started to rapidly increase its permanent presence in the Gulf Region and, on 4 July 2013, three additional Patrol Coastal vessels arrived in Bahrain.


Together, the USS Thunderbolt, the USS Squall and the USS Tempest joint the five Patrol Coastal vessels already deployed there and, next year, two more - the USS Hurricane and the USS Monsoon - will arrive on the scene.


All ten vessels are Cyclone-class patrol ships developed during the early 1990s. Each one is around 55 metres long and displaces 336 tons of water.


Cyclone-Class Patrol Ships


Equipped with four Paxman diesel engines, the Cyclone-class patrol ships have a maximum speed of 65 kilometres per hour and are crewed by 28 naval personnel, including four officers.


Armament is supplied by six FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, five .50 calibre machine guns and pairs of Mk 38 25mm cannons, Mk 19 40mm grenade launchers and M240B machine guns.


In all, 14 Cyclone-class patrol ships were constructed. The USS Tempest, USS Squall and USS Thunderbolt were the second, seventh and twelfth to be built, respectively. Previously based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, they are now permanently stationed in Bahrain.


Increased Gulf Patrol Vessel Presence


"Having additional PCs here in Bahrain will give us incredible flexibility in the Fifth Fleet area of operations since they are uniquely capable of operating in this dynamic environment", explained US Navy representative Vice-Admiral John Miller - Commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command - in a statement on the increased Gulf patrol vessel presence. "They will allow for continued maritime security operations to security co-operation in the Fifth Fleet."


"The shift to permanent PC crews alleviates the significant strain placed on the crews and their families while ensuring capacity and capability stays strong here in the area of responsibility (AOR)", added Captain Joseph Naman - the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 50. "These ships are ideal for working with partner navies in the Gulf."

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