Many call this century the Pacific century, and the undeniable truth is this region has an increasingly important role in the global economy. In this sense, navies fulfill what is perhaps the oldest of their roles: to keep the lines of communication open and safe from at-sea criminal activities. Again, this need is reflected in our naval construction plan, which is focused in providing platforms of greater endurance. The PN has planned to build three 1,800-ton offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Coast Guard in order to improve its maritime surveillance and control capabilities. While the construction of these three units takes place, the PN has decided to transfer two Lupo -class frigates from the surface force to the Coast Guard (these frigates have been refitted as OPVs) and to build ten medium endurance patrol vessel (MEPVs) within the next few months.
Also, the PN continues to work with others navies to develop common procedures. Our participation in multinational exercises like RIMPAC, Unitas, Silent Force Exercise (SIFOREX), DESI (Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative), and Panamax, as well as our contribution in U.N. peacekeeping operations reinforce our commitment to global security. We have a strong relationship with the US. Navy, which is supported not only by exchanges of instruction and liaison officers but also through an increase in antisubmarine warfare as a result of the development of the DESI program and SIFOREX, which is conducted biannually off the coast of Peru. Since 2012 the PN has been a full member of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, allowing us not only to strengthen and improve our relationships but also to make significant bilateral agreements in order to increase our interoperability.
Peru is committed to stability and freedom of maritime trade; we are well aware that any disruption will have a huge impact on the global economy. Our location in the Pacific Basin requires the navy to be active in order to contribute to the safety of world trade and protection of the marine environment.