September 30, 2006:
The Iraqi navy is buying four Diciotti class offshore patrol vessel. These are 450 ton, 167 foot vessels with a top speed of 37 kilometers an hour. They have a landing pad for a helicopter in the rear of the ship, and are armed with a 25mm autocannon. The 25 man crew can stay at sea for 7-10 days at a time, and live in air conditioned accommodations. Ships of this class are already in service with the coast guards of Italy and Malta. The Iraqis will use them to patrol the oil tanker lanes offshore, and to keep smugglers and terrorists under control.