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OPV ‘Infanta Cristina’ to deploy in West Africa - Navy News - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Monday, 23 October 2017 - document to 01:05:42
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Maritime Security

OPV ‘Infanta Cristina’ to deploy in West Africa
The Spanish patrol vessel is scheduled to conduct several military cooperation activities in support to the Defense Diplomacy Plan
Thursday, August 17, 2017


The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Infanta Cristina’ set sail last Wednesday from Cartagena (SE Spain) to conduct several cooperation activities around the Western African coast until mid-December 2017, organized by the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Navy as part of the Defense Diplomacy Plan.

During the four-month deployment the ship will cooperate with Gulf of Guinea countries to enhance their naval capabilities, foster mutual knowledge and contribute to regional maritime security, ultimately benefiting the own security of Spain.

This deployment is intended to increase stability and maritime security in the area with several training exercises and drills. Other nations will also provide naval assets to this endeavor like the U.S., Germany, Italy, Portugal, the U.K., France, Belgium and Denmark.

Defense Diplomacy Plan

During her tour around the African coast, the patrol vessel will support the Defense Diplomacy Plan: a series of international activities based on dialogue and cooperation organized by the Ministry of Defense at bilateral level with allied or partner nations, in order to promote the objectives of the defense policy like conflict prevention and enhancement of the security capabilities of the nations involved.

The ‘Infanta Cristina’ will visit the following ports: Praia and Mindelo (Cape Verde), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Dakar (Senegal), Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana), Duala (Cameroon), Santo Tome, Luanda (Angola), Port Gentile (Gabon) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

The patrol vessel, under command of Lt-Cdr. Juan Carlos Prada, was originally designed as a corvette by Navantia (formerly Bazán) in Cartagena and delivered to the Spanish Navy in 1980. In 2004, the ship was completely upgraded and turned into an offshore patrol vessel with hull number P-77.

Her main tasks include maritime security missions, fight against marine pollution, tracking of possible illegal activities and collaboration with other State constabulary forces in the fight against terrorism and drug-smuggling activities.

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