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Uruguay Navy / Armada Nacional - Marina de Uruguay

The ship prefix for Uruguay is ROU (for Repblica Oriental del Uruguay, the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay"). In addition to their ship name, navy ships are numerically listed. This is a position and not an identification number: as ships are decommissioned and replaced, their previous numbers are reused by newer vessels.

Thus, for instance, ROU 01 is always "Uruquay", and as soon as the older ship of his name is discarded, the new ship of the same name and number is placed into commission. A similar conservation of prestigious names is seen in other names, such as "The Sullivans" in the United States Navy. Ven though Uruquay only has about three dozen ships in commission, the system seems to fall apart pretty quickly thereafter. Over time, there accumulates a great confusion of numbers [all seemingly lower than ROU34], with an assortment of glorious names, with no evident rhyme or reason. All very un-American.

The National Navy is an integral part of the Armed Forces organized, equipped, instructed and trained to carry out the military actions imposed by the National Defense within the scope of its jurisdiction, its fundamental task being the Defense of Sovereignty, Independence snd Territorial Integrity, the Safeguarding of the Strategic Resources of the Country determined by the Executive Power and contribute to preserve the Peace of the Republic within the framework of the Constitution and Laws. (Law No. 18,650). It is also incumbent to exercise the Authority and the Maritime Police of the Republic. (Law No. 10,808).

The Navy, constituted as the Naval Power of the Nation, protects and promotes the National Maritime and Fluvial Interests, and contributes to the materialization of the National Defense Objectives, Being the central element of the military defense in the maritime, fluvial and lacustrine area, supports the foreign policy of the State; guarantees security and exercises the authority of the State at sea; and contributes with the economic, scientific and cultural development of the Maritime activity of the Republic.

The Navy Vision is: "By 2020, the National Navy as the Naval Power of the country will maintain and develop the necessary capacities that budget is possible, to contribute to the achievement of National Interests and Objectives determined in the National Defense Policy. It will continue to be the leading institution of the National Maritime Power guaranteeing to Uruguay that the sea will be used for its benefit and to the measure of its interests, under normal conditions as well as in conditions of crisis or conflict. It will continue to protect and work towards the maritime and fluvial interests of the country. It will generate security conditions, maintain order and will definitely exercise the Authority at sea. The Navy will continue to be a powerful component and direct protagonist of the development of Maritime Uruguay, providing services and cooperating closely with other State agencies, the maritime community, and international partners in economic, scientific and cultural activities that, due to their relevance or convenience, contribute to this development."

As of 1990, naval strength stood at 4,500, which included both naval air personnel and marines. Personnel had been reduced from a high of 6,200 in 1983. The only naval base in operation was located at Montevideo, where facilities included a dry dock and a slipway. In addition to the naval staff, the navy's commander was assisted by the chief of forces afloat and the chiefs of naval education and training, naval aviation, customs, and the marine police. The navy was active in riverine and offshore patrol, transport, and sea-and-air rescue. In the late 1980s, naval vessels seized foreign boats caught fishing illegally in the country's territorial waters. The navy also played a role in interdicting drug traffickers.

The fleet command was divided into one escort division and one patrol division. The escort division operated a newly acquired French frigate, as well as one other frigate, one destroyer escort, and one corvette, all formerly in service with the United States Navy. The patrol division had three relatively modern French-built large patrol craft, one antiquated Italian-built large patrol craft, two United States-built large patrol craft (delivered in February 1990), and two small patrol craft. The fleet also included one minesweeper, five amphibious landing craft, one training vessel, and a small number of support and utility craft. An additional two frigates of the same class (Riviere) as that purchased in 1988 were contracted for in February 1990. The ships were due for extensive refitting, making their delivery date uncertain.

By November of 1991 three Commandant Rivire class frigates, belonging to the French Navy, were acquired, and named Uruguay, Artigas and Montevideo. Then, in 2007, two frigates of the Portuguese Navy were added, which had the same design as the Commandant Rivire class. They were an improved variant of this and are called the Joo Belo Class. These two frigates are, NRP Cte. Joo Belo and the NRP Cte. Sacadura Cabral, which were renamed Uruguay and Cte.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, a series of ex-ships of the Volksmarine are acquired. In December of 1991, four mine sweeper were received, that wre re-named Bold, Brave, Fortuna and Audacious, these are the name of the corsairs of the era of independence. On 05 August 2000, the Valiente sank in a collision with the Greek merchant vessel Skyros, ande 11 sailors died. Uruquay also bought from the Volksmarine two tugs. One was Otto von Guericke and the other is Zingst, which would become the Vanguard and the Banco Ortiz.

After the withdrawal of the service of the majority of the coastguard that fulfilled functions in the western coast of Uruguay, two coastguard ships that belonged to the American Coast Guard, that would be called Colonia and Rio Negro, were incorporated. Also, in September of 1999 were incorporated nine "Class 44" boats of American origin, for the National Naval Prefecture.

Uruguayan Naval Aviation had 400 personnel. Operations were divided into combat, communications, and training elements. All naval aircraft were based at the naval air base at Laguna del Sauce in Maldonado Department. The marine detachment numbered 500 and was organized into a single battalion.

All naval schools were located at the Naval Training Center in the Montevideo port area. Naval officers underwent a five-year course at the Naval Academy, graduates of which were also commissioned in the National Maritime Police and the merchant marine. The senior school for naval officers was the Naval War College. Enlisted personnel were trained at the School of Naval Specialization. The navy commanded the 1,500-strong National Maritime Police, which performed coast guard duties, supervised the nation's ports and merchant marine, and acted as a harbor police. The maritime police operated three small patrol craft and a buoy tender. Its personnel were trained by the navy.

In 1998 the Law of Maritime Spaces, entrusts to the National Navy, the conduction of the tasks to establish the outer edge of the Continental Margin. For the morphological study of the seabed, the Navy, through the Oceanography, Hydrography and Meteorology Service, developed the Project "Hydrographic Survey of Shallow Waters and Continental Shelf", working in coordination with ROU 22 Oyarvide, which meant obtaining data from More than 7,000 nautical miles of bathymetric data. Subsequently, with the Ministry of Livestock Agriculture and Fisheries, Industry and Mining and later with the Faculty of Sciences and entered in 2009, the Navy together with the Ministry of RREE, forwarded the documentation tending to establish the outer limit of its platform Continental to the UN and presented to the Plenary of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. In February 2016, the presentation of the Uruguayan Delegation to the Plenary of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York took place, setting out the criteria that supported the establishment of the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. The Command of the Sea Forces [FUEMA - Comando de las Fuerzas de Mar] has as Mission: "Enlist the surface Naval Units assigned to them so that they may be employed in the Naval Operations required of the Fleet Command to fulfill the Navy's mission. The tasks related to this Mission are: Ensure the operational enlistment of the Surface Units assigned to it; Supervise and exercise authority in the Sea Force to carry out basic operations and training; Conduct and exercise the Command of the Task organizations that are assigned to execute combat operations or others that are ordered.





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