November 13, 2008: Last month, the
Iraqi Navy received the first six of 24
Defender class patrol boats. These are 27 foot long craft with a top speed of
80 kilometers an hour. The boats can carry eight armed boarding party marines
in an air-conditioned cabin, along with the two man crew. The boats are used to
patrol coastal waters and off-shore oil facilities. This work involves boarding
and searching merchant ships suspected of smuggling or (much more rarely)
terrorism. There are over 700 of these Defender type boats in use worldwide.