Offshore Patrol Vessel
Most countries have navies that greatly resemble the U.S. Coast Guard. They operate primarily along their country's coasts. Their missions focus mostly on search and rescue, smuggling and fisheries enforcement, and they sail relatively inexpensive, small ships. The great strength of the corvette and frigate is that they both offer a design, albeit of a different sizes, which can operate either independently, or as part of a taskforce. Whether on national missions or UN deployment, their main tasks are the protection of territorial waters, participation in global peace-keeping measures and cooperation in crisis management. They must be able to successfully counter threats from other surface vessels, submarines and aircraft. With these vessels, reliability, availability and minimum crew size are top priority factors. Long-range capabilities for patrol missions, long sea endurance in conflict areas and high speed for rapid redeployment to far-off theaters of operation are just as indispensable.
An Offshore Patrol Vessel is used for theater security, not combat operations. There are a large range of vessels that can be described as offshore coastal ships, ranging between 500 to 4,000 tons. The missions of these vessels include Law Enforcement, Maritime Safety, Defense Operations and Maritime Environmental Protection. Fisheries protection is an important law enforcement mission, while defense operations are generally important, and tend to have a significant impact on the characteristics of the vessels. Minewarfare missions are common, and anti-submarine warfare is also common. While the missions were similar, vessels and services tend to be more focused on a single mission for each deployment. The ability to conduct fisheries, counter-narcotics, migrant interdiction and defense operations in the same deployment is usually not required.
By one estimate, only 20 percent of the cost of an OPV is acquisition. Eighty percent goes into the life-cycle of that vessel, to maintenance and spares. Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) have recently been in the international naval shipbuilding become a popular type of ship is used primarily for smaller navies, such as in Southeast Asia and South America for coast guard duties, but also for traditional naval tasks (Littoral Warfare).
Typical OPVs are between about 500 to about 2,500 tons, usually lightly armed, sturdy, ocean-capable patrol boats without anti-submarine capability in Corvettes size, covering as ship type, the gap between non-ocean-speed boats and large expensive frigates. Unlike corvettes or frigates provide OPV is a less expensive type of ship is therefore attractive for small navies. In addition to the self-protection are mainly in the armament of the OPVs actions of low intensity military demanded. This is normally sufficient to medium caliber gun for the famous "shot across the bow." OPVs some also have anti-ship missile (FK). Modern leadership, communication and monitoring electronics is one of essential equipment of the OPVs. The larger units are also equipped with an onboard helicopter nursery and also have the potential to increase combat power (prepared for, but not with).
Typical OPVs include for example the patrol boats GUAICAMACUTO class the navy of Venezuela, of which four boats were built. The 80 meters long constructed in stealth design OPVs displace 1,453 tonnes each, are lightly armed and have a helicopter landing deck for day and night operation of helicopters, but no hangar. In the superstructure on both sides, they have - for control tasks in lake - each have a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat), a third RHIB can be exposed through a rear ramp. The endurance of these OPVs is 30 days.
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