Navy transfers custody of Iraqi boats

UMM QASR, Iraq — The U.S. Navy officially transferred custody of the fourth and sixth patrol boats (P-304 and P-306) to the Iraqi Navy at the Umm Qasr naval facility on Aug. 13.

An official signing ceremony between the Iraqi Navy, the Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission and the acquisition program office marked the event.

Prior to the transfer of custody, both P-304 and P-306 successfully completed underway demonstrations for the Iraqi Navy on Aug. 12. The deliveries of these two boats follow the successful deliveries of the second and third boats of the class, P-302 and P-303, in January. P-305, which will be the sixth Iraqi patrol boat to be delivered, is on track to arrive at Umm Qasr in late October.

The Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office (PMS 325) in the U.S Navy’s Program Executive Office, Ships, is managing the acquisition of the patrol boats as a foreign military sales program. There are seven patrol boats under construction, with contract options available for the procurement for three additional boats.

“The patrol boat demonstrations went very well and ensured a smooth transition of custody to our Iraqi customer,” said Frank McCarthey, program manager for PMS 325, “With five ships of this class now delivered to the Iraqi Navy, we can continue to study lessons learned to ensure future deliveries are equally as successful.”

The U.S. Navy and Swiftships Shipbuilders LLC of Morgan City are supporting the Iraqi Navy in the procurement and construction of up to 15, 35-meter armored patrol boats. The boat is armed with a 30mm gun weapon system, provides for a crew of 25, and is capable of reaching 34.6 mph.

PEO Ships is managing the design and construction of all U.S. Navy destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, as well as a range of small boats and craft for U.S. agencies and allied nations. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered more than 40 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.

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