During April 2006, Navantia (formerly Izar) of Spain received an initial down payment from Venezuela to begin construction of four new offshore patrol vessels for the oil-rich South American nation. The Navantia-released line drawing shows the warships fitted with what appears to be two antiship missile canisters amidships, a 76-mm gun mount forward and a small caliber close-in weapon system aft. Other Venezuelan air and naval orders pending in Spain include 4 inshore patrol craft and 12 aircraft. Venezuela has reportedly also expressed interest in purchasing Spanish Descubierta -class patrol ships and Russian Amur-class submarines.
On 5 April, Navantia delivered the first of five Fridtjof Nansen -class (Project 6088) frigates to the Norwegian Navy. Launched in 2004, the Fridtjof Nansen , shown here in a preliminary drawing, is equipped with the SPY-1F Aegis combat system designed by Lockheed Martin in cooperation with Norway's Kongsberg. The SPY-1F is a scaled-down version of the SPY-1D radar found on the U.S. Navy"s Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-class destroyers. Displacing 6,000-tons, Norway's new frigates will carry up to 8 NSN antiship missiles and 32 Evolved Sea-Sparrow anti-ship missiles. Delivery of four sister ships is expected to be complete by 2009.
Although guided-missile patrol boats have long played an important role in the Indian Navy, recent years have seen the introduction of many larger warships-including the Talwar -class frigate Trishul pictured here-built at Baltiyskiy Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia. On 22 April 2006 the Indian Navy Tarantul-I class (Project 1241RE) guided-missile patrol boat Prahar sank after colliding with the container ship MV Rajiv Gandhi off the coast of Goa. All 73 crewmembers survived the incident because of an intensive search-and-rescue operation. The collision occurred at 2145 local time and the 450-ton warship sank just over two hours later. Eleven of the class were built for India between 1987 and 1997, five at Volodarskiy Shipyard in Rybinsk, Russia, and six in India at shipyards in Mumbai and Goa. All ten remaining sister ships are assigned to the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron.