The centerpiece of a small fleet donated to Kazakhstan by the United States is this 42-foot, aluminum-hulled Dauntless-class patrol boat completed by SeaArk Marine, Monticello, Arkansas, in November 1995 and shipped to the Kazakhstan Navy's main base at Aktau on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea along with five militarized Boston Whalers. Unusually, the craft were funded by the Defense Nuclear Agency for potential use in interdicting nuclear waste smuggling. Kazakhstan's fleet, which was formally inaugurated on 17 August 1996, also has a small base at Aral'sk on the shrinking Aral Sea. Germany donated the new navy's largest combatants, four 69.6-ton patrol boats originally completed in 1952-53 for the U.S. Navy's Weser River Patrol, while Russia has promised three small mine sweepers and two 39-ton Zhuk-class patrol boats. Kazakhstan itself has built two 13ton patrol launches and has laid down a Zhuk of its own at Ural'sk.
To gain experience in the operation of larger warships, the Navy of the United Arab Emirates purchased two relatively modern, gas-turbine-powered Kortenaer -class frigates from the Netherlands Maritime Consortium on 2 April 1996. The Abu Dhabi , here on post-overhaul trials on 16 June, was completed in 1983 as the Royal Netherlands Navy's Abraham Crijnssen and had been decommissioned in June 1996; the ship is to be delivered later this year after further outfitting at den Helder. The second frigate, the Al Emirat , is the former Piet Heyn , decommissioned early in 1995, and scheduled to be delivered to the UAE early in 1998. The UAE earlier had turned down the offer of the U.S. guided-missile frigate Gallery (FFG-26), in part because of the crew requirements; it plans to operate its two Kortenaers with only 140 personnel each, 60 fewer than employed by the Dutch on their remaining four sisters. Greece bought the class name-ship this June, bringing its fleet of Kortenaers to a half dozen. The UAE has been enticing shipbuilders worldwide for several years with requests for bids on further frigates, patrol craft, and even submarines, but its navy seems unable or unwilling to sign any final contracts for new construction.
Seen calling at Portsmouth, England, en route to her new home in Bahrain, is the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)-class guided-missile frigate Sabha , whose full-load displacement exceeds that of the entire remainder of the Bahraini Navy fleet by more than 1,000 tons. The former Jack Williams (FFG-24), the frigate was completed in 1981 and decommissioned and formally transferred on 15 September 1996, becoming the only area-defense surface-to-air missile-equipped warship in any Persian Gulf fleet now that all of Iran's Standard-missile-equipped destroyers have been retired. Later in the same month that Bahrain acquired the Sabha , two Oliver Hazard Perry -class frigates were transferred to Egypt—the Copeland (FFG-25), which became the Mubarak , and the Gallery (FFG-26), which was renamed the Taba . Late this year a third, the Duncan (FFG-10), is to be transferred as the El Arish, and a fourth is to be handed over later. Three other sisters had been selected for transfer to Turkey, their crews trained, and even their new pendant numbers painted on, but the transaction has been held up by the U.S. Congress. With the impending acceleration of further Oliver Hazard Perry -class frigate retirements, it is likely that others of the class will be finding their way into foreign inventories over the next several years; reportedly, the British were offered several as interim replacements for their comparable Type 42 guided-missile destroyers until the much-delayed Horizon class comes into service in the middle of the next decade.