But benefiting from this enormous potential requires that security and safety are guaranteed, using public funds in a cost-effective way. That is the role of the Portuguese Navy.
In accordance with our maritime strategy, our navy performs three broad functions: military defense and foreign-policy support; security, safety and state authority at sea; and economic, scientific, and cultural development. Our responsibilities result in a dual-role navy—with both typical military tasks as well as traditional constabulary duties—in a model that has proved adequate and efficient.
We make the best use of a common structure, personnel, and assets to perform both the blue-water defense-related tasks and the coast guard functions. For that, ships, marines, divers, and maritime authority personnel, including the maritime police, are employed in a wide and diversified range of missions, with a common purpose: making the waters around us secure and safe. This implies maintaining a strong and daily commitment at sea to ensure the basis for development and prosperity ashore.
Despite the current constraints, the political will in recognizing the fundamental role of the Portuguese Navy has supported the need to fulfill the navy's minimum operational requirements, expressed by the acquisition of two frigates, two submarines, and two offshore patrol vessels. New construction to replace aging corvettes and patrol boats is under contract with the national shipbuilding industry, thus leveraging a strategic sector of the country's economy that deals with a wide range of technologies and employs a significant number of workers.
We are indeed witnessing an adverse economic cycle, but the Portuguese Navy is confident in its future as an essential factor to safeguard the nation's maritime interests and will continue to contribute toward enhancing global peace and stability.
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