The Paraguayan Navy patrol boat Teniente Robles is seen here at Asuncion in December 1997. She and sister Capitan Ortiz were donated by Taiwan in 1994. The 47-ton, 71-foot, aluminum-hulled craft, completed at Kaohsiung in 1978 as prototype guided-missile patrol boats, require a crew of 12 and have a range of 1,200 nautical miles at 17 knots. Now minus their two Hsiung Feng antiship missiles, the pair are capable of 36 knots, making them the speediest of Paraguay's riverine fleet, which also includes a modern Brazilian-built gunboat, two 1930s Argentine ocean minesweepers, two heavily armed 1931-vintage Italian-built gunboats, and a wooden-hulled gunboat adapted from a former tug built in 1908; also in service are 12 locally built patrol boats and several auxiliaries.
Designed largely to commercial standards, the newly completed, 20,500-ton Royal Navy assault helicopter carrier Ocean is seen here limping into Portsmouth, England, on 25 April on the power of her starboard shaft alone. The port propeller, shaft, and reduction gearing were damaged during dockyard trials at her builder's in Scotland, necessitating a docking for repairs in the south of England that probably will delay the ship's commissioning. The Ocean , which is defended by three U.S. Phalanx close-in weapons system mounts, is intended to carry 12 Sea King HC.4 troop helicopters and 6 Lynx or Apache attack helicopters; alternatively, up to 20 Harrier and/or Sea Harrier vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) fighter-bombers can be accommodated. The 18-knot Ocean normally would carry 500 Royal Marines, but up to 803 can be transported in an emergency. Ship's company totals 254, and some 180 aviation personnel and 26 Royal Marine boat crew for the four LCVP landing craft can be accommodated in addition to the troops. The diesel-powered Ocean has a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.
Still in gray paint, but with U.S. Coast Guard markings, the Cyclone (PC-1)-class patrol craft Thunderbolt (PC-12) is seen here at the start of her 2 March-17 July loan for a series of trials from Miami that, if successful, may result in the permanent transfer to the Coast Guard of up to four of the 331-ton craft. Although Congress required the Navy to order an unwanted 14th unit of the class under the fiscal year 1996 budget, the craft is not due for delivery until February 2000, at possibly more than three times the unit cost of the earlier craft. The Coast Guard would like to use the fast (35 knot) and seaworthy Cyclones for antidrug and rescue service in the Caribbean but is concerned about their high operating cost and large crew requirements. Like 37 of the 49 Coast Guard Island-class patrol craft, the Cyclones are powered by British Paxman Valenta diesels, but the larger craft employ four to the Islands' two. The Coast Guard also is somewhat wary of hand-me-downs from the Navy, and would prefer to obtain optimized designs of its own choosing as part of its comprehensive long-range fleet modernization program.