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domingo, 18 de maio de 2014

A landlocked country Navy:Paraguay

Paraguay is a landlocked country but have one navy of 1950 men with a Marine Corps of 800 soldiers (some sorces advance with a total of 3500 man) and plus 100 from air corps. The naval tradition from a nation with acess to Atlantic ocean by the large Paraguay- Parana rivers is came from 200 years of history with many fights and wars. The Corrientes Atack (1865), Riachuelo Battle (1865) or Chaco War (1932/1935) are only a few examples of actions were Paraguay Navy was envolved since the independence in 1811.   
Today the problems of a navy of old ships and lack of money to restore or buy new ones (although no problems of corrosion becouse water have no salt) is reduce the operation of less then 34 surface ships. Again, the spares of nations like USA, Taiwan and Brasil (Argentina is in a big economic crise) are making Paraguay Navy on the tracks, but the lack of powerfull and large units it is a problem dificult to resolved.

Lp-102 is one of two Light Patrol Vessel that came from USA. Is main guns are two 12,mm machine guns

Major units are the two Large Gun boats "Paraguay" and "Humaitá", build in Brescia, Italy in 1930 but out of service by engine and struture problems. The first is a depot ship and if will be money in future is possible that the engines are replaced and the vessel get back for active. Humaitá is a museum since1995 and even so the visits are restrited by lack of support in the couverture.
They are most powerfull river boats probably in the World, with 2/120mm guns, 3/76mm guns (2 in Humanitá) and 2/40mm guns (only 1 plus 2/20mm Oerlikons in Humanitá), more blindage and 86 sailors in  the crue, they can make 1,700 Nm in 16 Kts.      

In service the more large and capable vessels today are Patrol Ships: Cap. Cabral (P-01), Tte. Fariña (P-04) and Itaipu (P-06). All were give by Netherlands, Argentina and Brasil and all have main 40 mm Bofors main guns, 20 mm Oerlinkon (2 only in P-01), 12,7 mm machineguns (2 in P-01 and P-04, in P-06/4 along with 2 / 81mm mortars).
Tte. Fariña is 1 of 3 former class ships mineswepers "Bouchard", with P-03 "Capitán Mesa" scrapp in 1997, but "Nanawa" is still P-02 number and in some sources is under COMFG control (possible for repair or scrapp in the future).    

The main naval base at Asuncion, Porto Sajonia with one of the Italian build Gunboats on the left (on the rigth are one floating dry dock and one floating crane )
Other combat vessels are Patrol Boats, armed with 20 mm Oerlikon (P-06 Cap.Ortiz and Lt. Robles P-07) and 12 mm machine guns (first to and plus other 14 Patrol boats). Only P-08 Yhaguy and P-09 Tebicuary ( have 7,62 mm machine guns.
With the inclusion of Croq.15 Class LP-201"Tenente 1º Pelayo Pratt Gil", for the first time since 1999 a new ship is put on service and is a first hand made one, since the last were from a 1967-71 construction from Tawan Navy. This type is very good for river patrol and other nations have similar ships, were speed (45 Kts), the crue (only 20 man) and the importance of a made in Paraguay boat (with GPS, nightvision and light sonar). Four are in use and it is possible than others will follow.    

Non fighting ships are 5 Tugs (from USA and Paraguay) plus one buy in 2002/03 (Arsenal 2 A-2) and 3 landing craft use by the marines. At least more 8 small patrol boats Pira/Paraguay/Yamaha and the Precidential Yatch ( "3 of February", but with problem in engine) are in active service.   
River Transport "Tenente Herreros" in still in active list but was no engine and when in use is propulsion is made by Tug R-5, so in a combat mission is very difficuld to make something with this vessel. Other large ship "Guaraní", used for transport and training, and than today is inoperative but for now is not in scrapp process.
It is possible that some of the Working Ships (in 2003 were 2; Dan-1/ Arsenal 1and L-01 Teniente Cabrera), Drech/Survey (Lh-1 "Rogelio Lesme" and DC-2 "Oscar Carreras Saguier") and service craft/service equipment are in use (the list of 2005 in histamar and wikipedia of 2012 doesn't do any reference to them).

Tug R-4 "Triunfo"
Naval aviation have 6 airplanes and 2 helicopters and is based Silvio Pettirosi International Aeroport (SGAS) in Asuncion but also have facilities in Puerto Sajonia. Cessna 150 is a training aircraft but is today in a process of aquisition of spares, and the others (1 Cessna 210, 2 Cessna 310 and 1 Cessna 401) are for liason except the last one use for transport. Only the 2 HB-350 "Esquilo" may use weapons like rokets and machine guns so is the only fight air united of Paraguay Navy so is very depending from the small airforce of the nation (less than 1 000 man and 44 airplanes and 15 helicopters). Lucky that the country is not big and the air forces make the necessary missions.   

Training Aircraft Cessna 150
In conclusion,  the Navy of Paraguay is still for the river an important force with 3 or 4 large ships, 21 patrol boats and 3  landring crafts for a commando and battalion of marines (that have experience with operations with US Special Forces and Brazilian Armed Forces). But the main ships are near the centenarian age (thanks to fresh water and limited use) and the motors of some of them like the 2 Gun Boats and the Transport Ships make hard a re-build.
Budget problems to make local or buil in other countries (in 1995 Class 101 and 55 were build in Spain but the lack of funds make them go to Surinam), give only the possibility of delivered small boats, much of them donate from foreign nations.   
So, in the last years some of the capital ships are in reserve or in a re-build process, and like in the past with ARP Buqueron, the bad conditions and the price of scrapp (it was sold for 32.000 dollars),  make them go away. But other small ships like Tugs had the same problem. And with the Argentina crises, the less power economy of Brazil, Paraguay Navy had only the means that can build in the nation or USA and Tawain can give them, what in that side or the World or in case of another Chaco war could be a big problem.  

River Boat class Croq. 15, made from a design by Albert Nazarov. The first unit is call  "Tenente 1º Pelayo Pratt Gil", a hero from Chaco War (1932-1935)

Patrol Vessel ARP Nanawa (P-02)  

Capitán Hortiz and Teniente Robles are two Class Hou boats

Patrol Boat Itaipú

A fine picture of Paraguay Navy. From left to right Gun Boat Humaitá (today a Museum Ship since 1992 but is still the Flag Ship of the navy.) in Asuncion's Bay, Paraguay (today a depot ship pending a future return to active dutty from the replacement  from their steam propulsion with diesel engines), two patrol boats (Classe Hou "modificada" from Taiwan)  and P-01 Captain Cabral

Patrol Boat Tenente Fariña  (P-04)
River Patrol Boat "Capitán Cabral"

River Transport Tenente Herreros that since 2003 is used was a barge with tug R-5 becouse was no motor. The similar Light Forces Tender and Command ship "Boquerón" (PHNC 2071) was scrapp in 2004

Helibrás HB-350B Esquilo from Paraguay Armada. In the botom is the Coastal Transport Guaraní that was to a School Ship for the navy  before being seen in "Punta Remanso" were it was at 2008 

Marines of the Paraguay Navy. A Landing Craft is seen in the left side of image 

C-1 "Paraguay" is one of two large gunboats of ther navy (the other is C-2 Humaitá)

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