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Venezuela Navy operates 2 Iranian built Zolfaghar class missile boats near Trinidad and Tobago.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by ConflictsW on February 25, 2024, naval movements involving the country's Zolfaghar class (Peykaap III) missile boats have been observed near the Gulf of Paria, a strategic body of water off Venezuela's northeastern coast.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela Zolfaghar class missile boat. (Picture source: ConflictsW)

The Gulf of Paria, a crucial expanse of water separating Venezuela from Trinidad and Tobago, has increasingly become a focal point for illicit activities, underscoring the broader security challenges in the region.

This area, due to its strategic importance and proximity to both countries, has seen a significant rise in piracy, smuggling, and other forms of organized crime, directly linked to the deteriorating situation in Venezuela.

Venezuela's ongoing political, economic, and social crisis has led to widespread shortages of essential goods, hyperinflation, and a breakdown in law and order in many parts of the country.

These conditions have pushed individuals and organized criminal groups to exploit the maritime routes for smuggling goods into and out of Venezuela. Items such as drugs, weapons, and basic necessities like food and medicine are commonly trafficked through the Gulf, capitalizing on the disparities in availability and price between the two nations.

About the Peykaap III class 

The Peykaap III-class missile boat has a displacement of 13.75 tons and measures 17.3 meters (56 ft 9 in) in length with a beam of 3.75 meters (12 ft 4 in). Its draught is 0.7 meters (2 ft 4 in).

The boat is powered by two diesel engines, totaling 2,400 horsepower (1.8 MW), and operates with a single propeller. This enables it to reach speeds of up to 52 knots (96 km/h; 60 mph). The vessel requires a crew of three for its operations. It is armed with two single anti-ship missile launchers and two 12.7 mm machine guns.

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