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Spanish shipyard wins contract to build 2 OPVs for Uruguay Navy.

| 2023

According to information published by Uruguay on July 20, 2023, Uruguay's Minister of National Defense, Javier García, announced that the Uruguayan government has procured two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the National Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the future OPV. (Picture source: Uruguayan MoD)

The vessels will be acquired from the Spanish shipyard, Cardama, for a price of €82.2 million. The decision was grounded on three main factors: technical advisements from the National Navy, cost considerations, and delivery timeframes.

The two vessels will significantly enhance the Navy's capability to safeguard national sovereignty at sea, protect natural resources, combat illegal activities and regain control over maritime space. This acquisition is a pivotal step towards rejuvenating the Navy's aging fleet and realizing a goal that has been held for over 15 years.

The procurement process was based on three essential pillars: technical compatibility, delivery timeframes, and cost. The ships met all the necessary conditions stipulated by the National Navy and were the most cost-effective offer received.

Moreover, they will be delivered within a promising timeframe, with the first vessel expected to arrive in early 2025 and the second one towards the end of the same year.

The purchase will be funded by reserves held by the National Corporation for Development, with additional support from the General Revenues. The OPVs, being new and modern, are expected to incur lower maintenance costs, further reducing the operational expenses. A package of spare parts for 10,000 hours of navigation is also included in the purchase, covering maintenance costs for a significant period.

Uruguayan Navy personnel are fully trained to operate these new vessels, and officers will participate throughout the construction process to verify and oversee all procedures. An external classification society is also included in the acquisition to ensure contract stipulations are fulfilled.

These two vessels will join three Protector-class vessels acquired last year and a donated vessel from the Korean government. The procurement represents the largest renovation of the National Navy's vessel capabilities in a long time, enabling the Navy to fully carry out its missions and functions.

Technical data

Each vessel has a displacement of 1700 tons, an overall length of 86.75 meters, a beam (width) of 12.20 meters, and a draft (depth) of 3.60 meters. The OPVs are designed with a platform and a hangar to accommodate a helicopter, expanding their operational range and capabilities. In terms of armament, each vessel comes equipped with a primary 30 mm gun and secondary armament of 12.7 mm guns.

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