The United States government donated four interceptors to the Guatemalan Midnight Express National Defense Navy, which has been delivered to the Special Naval Forces, to operate from its base in Escuintla. The ships moved to Guatemala will help their armed forces increase their responsiveness and improve their ability to intercept drug trafficking. In 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) conducted training on how to ban ships with Guatemalan armed forces. Naval interceptors are used to conduct such training.
The Guatemalan Navy is expecting an island-class ship and a new NCPV. Other potential assets available for transfer to the regional navies are 8 USCG Marine Protector-class ships, which will see a surplus this year as they are replaced by Sentinel-class patrol ships.
A Marine Protector is an 87 foot long ship based on the Damen Group Stan 2600 design. A total of 74 were built by Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana. Four of them were turned over to foreign allies (two to Yemen and two to Malta). This type of Navo mounts two MTU 8V 396 TE94 diesel engines. The 85 foot long NCPV is also based on the Stan 2600 design, and Metal Shark is building 13. Countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador could get a pair of NCPVs and also a pair of Marine protectors.
However, it must be taken into account that both ships differ in details, although they are based on the same model. The Defiant-85 is powered by two Caterpillar C-32 engines with 1,600 hp. Both the NCPV and the Marine Protector were developed for extended missions at sea. They support a crew of ten and carry a 5.6-meter RIB from Metal Shark and a 7-meter RIB in the case of the USCG model. In the next few days the models FNH-8502 Aguan will be delivered to Honduras and PM-15 to El Salvador.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has announced that it will expand its partnerships with countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The USCG will, among other things, deploy 15 training teams in Central and South America.
The United States also continues to support efforts to ban drugs. In February 2021, the company delivered two new Tempest 44-FCI ships to the National Coast Guard Service of Costa Rica (SNGC) and announced funding for the construction of a new training and maintenance center in Puerto Caldera, Puntarenas Province, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The building will be 7,000 square feet and cost $ 1.5 million, entirely donated by the United States government. The facilities include 12 classrooms for officer training and a hangar for boat maintenance and repair. In addition, the US will fund repairs to two Colombia-built Eduardoo patrol boats used by the SNGC, each valued at $ 2.3 million.
The United States has contributed more than $ 40 million annually in support of operations in Costa Rica. In 2018 it delivered three island-class ships, now flagged as SNGC 110-1 Juan Rafael Mora Porras, 110-2 General Jos Mara Caas, and 110-3 Rodrigo Carazo, and it is slated for two NCPV 85 Defiant classes to deliver. There were three Metal Shark ships in December 2020. Two of the ships purchased are 38 feet long and are each valued at $ 588,500. They are equipped with three 300 hp outboards that can accommodate eight crew members. The other is 45 feet long, valued at $ 1,485,000, and has two powerful 567 horsepower turbines. The total investment is 2,662 million US dollars. The acquisition included training by Metal Shark Company technicians for eleven officers who will operate them and are certified for their use. All three have state-of-the-art technology for navigation and communication equipment, as well as cabins with air conditioning and comfortable seats for the crew. These conditions allow personnel to carry out their work safely and properly, especially since some operations require the Coast Guard to devote significant time to navigating and dealing with extremely adverse weather conditions. Costa Rica seized 56.7 tons of cocaine in 2020; This is an increase of 56 percent compared to 2019. In addition, 14.4 tons of marijuana were extracted, 45 percent more than in 2019. (Julio Montes)
Photo: FNH-8502 and PM-15 available for immediate delivery.
One of the new Metal Sharks from Costa Rica (Metal Shark).
39ft Midnight Express delivered to Gauetamala (US Embassy in Guatemala).
Storm 44-FCI of Costa Rica (Presidency CR).
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