Iraqi Navy Modernization
As of 2010 authoritative sources had diverent reports concerning the nomenclagure of several Iraqi ship programs, as well as the current delivery status. It is generally agreed that four 53.4-meter Fatah (Saettia class) are planned, though unclear whether all four have been delivered, or only one. Some sources report 9 35-meter Swiftships were planned, though it is authoritatively reported that 15 are planned. It is authoritatively reported that 26 7.7-meter Defender Class PBR Fast Aluminum Boats have been delivered, while some sources report only 16 on hand, with a further 10 other PBR Rigid-hull Inflatable Boats of various types.
As of 2005, the Iraqi Navy was equipped with five Predator Class Patrol Boats (PB), 24 Fast Aluminum Boats (Duel Outboard Engines), 10 rigid-hull inflatable boats, and various small arms and night vision devices. The Iraqi Navy would further equip themselves with six Al Faw Class Patrol Boats (the first of which was delivered in July 2005) and two Off-Shore Support Vessels. With some exceptions, the responsibility for logistical support of the Iraqi Navy had been handed over to the Umm Qasr Base Support Unit (BSU). Maritime and Riverine Advisory Support Team (M&R AST) members provided advice and assistance to both the BSU and the Iraqi Navy Logistics Department in order to cultivate a cooperative working relationship. It was anticipated (based on progression along the CTF-58 assessment program) that the Iraqi Navy would assume point defense responsibilities of the oil terminals by September 30, 2005. Assumption of the waterside mission (the afloat defensive screen) was dependent on the acquisition and initial operational readiness of the six Al Faw class.
Two patrol craft departed Bahrain April 30, 2004 en route to Umm Qasr, Iraq, where coalition forces would begin training the newly created Iraqi Coastal Defense Force. Patrol Craft 102 and 103 are two of five patrol craft provided by the United States, and are the first vessels belonging to the ICDF. The 27-meter long Chinese-made craft were originally to be acquired by the Saddam Hussein regime in 2002 under the oil-for-food program, but were not allowed to enter the country due to their military capabilities. The United States purchased the boats from the Chinese ship-builder. The purchase included an agreement to compensate the German company shipping the boats so that no one, including Iraq, incurred any financial damage.
After spending nearly two years dry-docked in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, the boats finally sailed to Iraq. They were manned by British-led coalition forces. A commanding officer, chief marine engineer, deputy marine engineer, coxswain and eight-man deck crew of British, American and Australian Sailors man each craft and will immediately begin at-sea training with their Iraqi counterparts upon arrival.
Developed in a direct response to the need for additional Homeland Security assets in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the 25-Foot Defender Class Boat (RB-HS/RB-S) were procured under an emergency acquisition authority. With a contract for up to 700 standard response boats, the Defender Class acquisition is one of the largest boat buys of its type in the world. In October 2008, Coast Guard officials visited Umm Qasr, Iraq, to oversee delivery of the first lot of six new 25-foot response boats. The event marked a milestone in the growth of the service's foreign military sales business and underscored the FMS program's benefits to foreign customers and to the Coast Guard. The Iraqi Navy's order for 26 of the 25-foot Response Boat-Small and the other 60 boats that the Coast Guard has under contract for other international customers allows the manufacturer, Safe Boats International, to maintain a steady production line.
For the Iraqis, their $8.4 million project to acquire 26 craft, spareparts, tools and training represented a significant increase in capability as the country rebuilt its war-ravaged navy. As of October 2008 the Coast Guard had delivered six boats, and was to deliver another 10 in January 2009, followed by the final 10 in June 2009.
RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, LLC, Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $70,140,000 firm-fixed-price letter contract on 05 March 2010 for the detail, design, and construction of two offshore support vessels and associated equipment and services for the Iraqi Navy. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Iraq. Work will be performed in Houma, La., and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $47.6 million would expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured based on the terms of a Foreign Military Sales case which the Government of Iraq specified RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, LLC, as the source for this effort. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-2222).
The U.S. Navy and Swiftships Shipbuilders, LLC, built 15 state-of-the-art 35-meter coastal patrol boats for the Iraqi Navy. The Iraqis prepared to man these boats as part of the transition of the Iraqi maritime security mission to the Government of Iraq in 2011. The first boat completed sea trials on May 7 and live-fire testing of the gun systems was completed on May 31. The first patrol boat was delivered to the Iraqis in Morgan City and was used for training. It was loaded for transit to Iraq on 30 July 2010. The additional boats are under construction with the second boat scheduled for delivery in September 2010. The remainder would be delivered approximately every six weeks as the patrol boats are completed. Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) Gulf Coast at Pascagoula, Miss. provides local administration and oversight of the contract. Procurement of the boats is under a Naval Sea Systems Command/Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships Foreign Military Sales contract.
The first of five groups of 50 Iraqi personnel completed 90 days of intensive training and the second contingent arrived by the end of July 2010. Iraqi Sailors are trained to operate, maintain and deploy the newly purchased 15-man boats using a blended training program identical to that provided to U.S. Navy personnel. Included in the training are instructor-led classroom training, integrated scenario-based simulator training and underway familiarization aboard the new boat. The training program includes interpreters to minimize any language barriers. Training is a coordinated program of the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Naval Sea Systems Command and Swiftships Shipbuilders.
The Italian Embassy in Baghdad officially announced May 15, 2014 the conclusion of the Italian shipyard Fincantieri union final agreement on the transfer of two Iraqi Navy corvettes built in Italy for another Saddam Hussein's government, and almost 30 years in Italy to defend laid. Preliminary agreement with Fincantieri on the return of these two ships with their repair and modernization of a total value of $ 300 million was signed by Iraq back in 2011, but only now finalized.
Saddam's government in 1980 signed a contract worth $ 2.4 billion Fincantieri ordered the construction of the Iraqi "Navy" consisting of four frigates Lupo, six corvettes type Assad, the shuttle tanker type Stromboli and floating dock. While all of these units were completed in 1983-1986 years, but in Iraq they did not arrive due to the fact that the Iraqi side in terms of the Iran-Iraq war could only pay 441 million dollars from the cost of their construction. All ships remained in Italy until the end of the Iran-Iraq war. In 1986, Iraq sent the first tanker A 102 Agnadeen (type Stromboli) and floating dock moved from Italy to Alexandria (Egypt), but their further transition in Iraq had not taken place because of the fighting.
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