In an interesting twist of the international arms trade, the retired Irish Emer-class offshore patrol ship Aisling has been acquired by the Libyan National Army. The 1,000-ton warship was decommissioned from Irish naval service in 2016 and sold at auction to a Dutch firm for only 110,000 euros in 2017. The vessel was then reportedly flipped back for sale months later with an asking price of 685,000 euros. In May 2018 the ex-Aisling turned up in Benghazi, where she has taken on the role of flagship for the Libyan National Army and has been renamed Al-Karama. The 214-foot vessel had previously been armed with a mix of antiaircraft guns and small arms (as pictured here) while still in Irish ser-vice. She is powered to a top speed of 18.5 knots by two diesel engines enabling a range of 6,750 nautical miles while cruising at 12 knots. In Libyan service, the Al-Karama is expected to fulfill a variety of patrol missions, including counterterrorism and counter human-trafficking operations.
Combat Fleets of the World
By Eric Wertheim