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South American navies grow fleets despite modest budgets

18th November 2022 - 14:30 GMT | by Wilder Alejandro Sanchez in Washington DC


Uruguay has taken delivery of three ex-US Coast Guard Protector-class patrol vessels, although a long-awaited decision on a future OPV has still not been taken. (Photo: Uruguayan MoD)

Naval forces in Uruguay, Argentina and Guyana are growing their fleets with additional patrol, research and multi-mission craft.

Three Protector-class patrol vessels arrived in Uruguay on 13 November, while an additional example is expected to be handed over in 2023.

Donated by the US, the three ex-USCG ships – Río Arapey, Río de la Plata, and Río Yaguaron – will increase the fleet’s patrol capabilities. Additionally, in early November, upgrades and repairs to the Uruguayan Navy’s flagship, Gral Artigas, were finalised, according to the service. Artigas will be utilised in Uruguay’s Antarctic operations.

As for future acquisitions, the navy's commander, Adm Jorge Wilson, remarked on 15 November that a Chamsuri-class patrol vessel donated by

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Wilder Alejandro Sanchez


Wilder Alejandro Sanchez

Wilder Alejandro Sánchez is an analyst who covers defense & security, geopolitical, and trade issues …

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