Two Island-class patrol boats delivered to Odesa (Photo)
Fakty General cargo vessel Ocean Freedom carrying two U.S.-made Island-class patrol boats provided to Ukraine as free aid has arrived in Odesa, the port administration announced Monday.
The two boats, P190 Sloviansk and P191 Starobilsk, built in 1988, were offered to Ukraine as part of the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.
In September, 32 Ukrainian Navy sailors completed in Baltimore, Maryland, a training program to learn operating the said vessels. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine planned to replenish its Navy fleet with four U.S.-made Island-class boats.
The vessels will be based in Odesa, which is now home to the country’s main naval base.
Island-type boats have a full displacement of 165 tonnes and are able to reach speeds of up to 30 knots, with a cruising range exceeding 5,300 km. They are able to operate autonomously for up to five days.
As part of the U.S. Coast Guard, the boats were equipped with a 25-mm machine gun system Mk 38 Bushmaster and two 12.7 mm M2HB machine guns.
When entering into service with the Naval Forces of Ukraine, weapons installed can be significantly diversified, taking into account the challenges Ukraine is facing in the Black Sea.
In particular, it’s about a Katran-M turret (BM-5M01), similar to the one installed on small artillery boats Gyurza-M.
It is also possible to install Neptun anti-ship missile launchers, which will then have the Island-type boats reclassified to become small missile boats and allow creating a full-fledged strike division on their base, capable of engaging any surface vessel in the Black Sea.