For immediate release: Feb 25, 2011
ABU DHABI – The Iraqi Navy has taken delivery of a further two 35-meter coastal patrol boats (CPBs). These patrol craft are part of a larger 15-boat order made under a September 2009 sole-source $181 million contract awarded to Swiftships Shipbuilders of Louisiana by the U.S. Navy. The first CPB, PB-301, was delivered by Swiftships to the Iraqi Navy in Morgan City, La., for training in May 2010. It was inaugurated into the Iraqi Navy on Sep. 26, 2010. The latest patrol craft are PB-302 and PB-303, which were handed over to the Iraqi Navy on January 26 at the Umm Qasr naval facility.
These CPBs – purchased via the Pentagon’s government-to-government Foreign Military Sales process – will provide one-quarter of the Iraqi Navy’s “26-15-4-2” naval building program. The program includes the 26 Defender class patrol craft, the 15 Swiftships CPBs, four Fateh class OPVs, and two 60-meter offshore support vessels from RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames. Due to a shortfall of funds, the Iraqis have only paid for six of the CPBs, with the U.S. foregoing usual FMS procedures requiring the buyer to pay upfront for the remainder of the order as is the normal process.