Venezuela Signs $199M Agreement With Spanish Firm for 31 Patrol Boats
DID has covered Navantia’s potential billion dollar sale of corvettes/OPVs to Venezuela, which appears to be going ahead. In addition, reader Pedro Lucio tips us to an additional deal with Spanish firm Rodman Polyships for 31 patrol boats, at a price of EUR 157 million. DID prefers the figure of USD $199 million, as it comes from El Universal; that article also notes that the foundations for the deal were laid during an October 2005 visit by Hugo Chavez.
The boats will reportedly be 30, 20 and 17 meters long (approx. 100, 75, and 55 feet). In order to avoid the US ITAR arms export regulations that appear to have killed the deal for EADS-CASA aircraft, they will reportedly use European and Japanese navigation and communication equipment that does not fall under such regulations.
El Universal refers to the vessels as “surveillance, security and salvage ships,” and notes that “technology transfer under the agreement will consist in supporting construction of a shipyard to build polyester boats, especially small-size fishing boats, in Venezuela.” Rodman Polyships is to provide technical assistance and moulds. We think they mean composite-construction boats, an area in which Yachtmaker Rodman has considerable expertise. In any event, DID would certainly recommend against cotton boats as an option; the 30-meter patrol craft tend to shrink to 17 meters when cleaned.