Rio Damuji class
The largest warships in Cuban service, this aging Spanish built fishing trawler was converted into a patrol ship with a displacement of around 2500 tons. At least and possibly two are in Cuban military operation, photographed with a Styx anti-ship missile launch bin bolted to the foredeck, probably recycled from a non-operational Osa-II missile boat. This ship shows that the Cuban navy has a good deal of ingenuity, but it also illustrates the pathetic state of a fleet that once boasted ocean-going submarines and modern frigates.
This strange vessel began life as a deepwater stern-haul fishing trawler, built commercially in Spain for the state-owned Cuban fishing enterprise. Of the 7-trawler original order for the fishing fleet, Rio Damuji’s sister Rio Moa has been sold to a Belize fishing company and is now M/V Goldenfish I, along with Rio Hanabana which is now M/V Skyfish I. At some point during the late 1990s/early 2000s Rio Damuji, the first unit of the class, was transferred to the navy, and in 2006 or 2007 it was armed and converted into a makeshift offshore patrol vessel (OPV).
The armament consists of two SS-N-2 “Styx” launchers taken from a decommissioned “Osa II” class FAC(M), a 2M3 twin 25mm taken from a decommissioned torpedo boat, and what appears to be the turret of a T-54/55 tank. It is unclear how the missiles would be utilized, as typically they need to interface with a “Square Tie” radar for several seconds in directional-lock mode to obtain a firing solution. Possibly the Rio Damuji may only carry IR-homing variant “Styx” missiles, in which case the ship would just line up and fire down the bearing of a target, hoping the missile acquires the target on it’s own.
Some sources state that there are two ships of this class now in service, however it may be that Rio Damuji simply changed pennant numbers after receiving the SS-N-2 missiles. In August 2012 pictures from Havana showed the dockyard for refurbishment working on the second patrol ship of the same type. Judging from the pictures, the second ship is being rebuilt along the lines of the trawler Rio Damuji.
The ships of the Rio Damuji class variously classified as frigate, corvetts, or Offshor Patrol Vessels. Also known as Rio Anaya, Rio Rodas, Río Anaya, Río Rodas, Río Damují is a intermittent stream in Cienfuegos, Cuba.
|Rio Damuji||390||1972||2007||-||In Service|
|'Rio Jatibonico'||398||1977||2013?||-||In Service ???|
|Purpose of the vessel||
||Offshore Patrol Vessel|
|Length OA||106.86 m / 347 ft||107m / 350’10”,|
|Length BP||(m) 95.81|
|Breadth extreme||(m) 14.51||15m / 49’2”|
|Molded breadth||(m) 14.48|
|Depth to main deck||(m) 8.50|
|Load draft, average||(m) 5.63||9’11”|
|Displacement Deadweight||(tons) 3206|| 2500 tons|
3,200 tons / 3206t full
|Gross tonnage / Net tonnage||(register tons ) 2579 / 774|
non-CP 3-bladed prop
|Main engines power||(Bhp) 4400||1 MWM diesel|
|Main engine model||Deutz|
|Radar||Unknown I-band navigation radar|
|Start of building||1968 ? / 1975|
|Finish of building||1969 ? / 1979|
|Number of units||26|
| At least two trawlers were built for Cuba.|
Also modification of this design were delivered to
Spain, Egypt and probably to other countries.
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