The Libyan Navy's amphibious landing ship Ibn Harissa is seen undergoing a refit at Croatia's Kraljevica Shipyard during 2001. The yard, which previously had repaired Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's yacht, is reported to have been acquired from the Croatian government by Libyan financial interests. Whether the 2,800-ton, 328-foot Ibn Harissa is to return to naval service or is destined for commercial operation as a vehicle cargo ship is not yet certain; her sister ship, the Ibn Ouf, has operated for the Libyan government-controlled General National Maritime Transportation Company since March 1999. With the lifting of most of the embargoes against supplying Libya with military equipment, its navy has been able to refurbish seven of the remaining nine French-built La Combattante-II-class guided-missile patrol boats. Three of those 311-ton, 39knot craft—the Shehab, Shefak, and Laheeb—visited Malta last fall.
By A. D. Baker III