Offshore Patrol Vessels and Surface Combatants Latin America: Market Report 2015

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The Latin American proportion of the world OPV fleet has grown from 12% -14% over the last year and the number on order from 13-16%. In addition, up to 50 more OPVs are planned for procurement in this region.

Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are the fastest growing segment of the Naval Vessels Market. At least 23 countries are known to have a total of 132 OPVs on order and 28 countries have plans for another 265 at a total value of over $60 Billion. The total number of OPVs on order has increased by 7% in the last year, while the number planned has also increased – by 40%.

Asia has the largest proportion of the current fleet (40%) and the numbers on order (67%). Japan and India have 56% of the Asian vessels between them, while India alone has 42% of the total vessels on order worldwide.

OPVs can be broadly classified into 2 types; 1) High-end war-fighting vessels with expensive weapon systems and C4I suites and 2) More basic patrol vessels, designed for sustained low intensity missions and equipped with basic gun armaments, standard navigation sensors and built to commercial standards.

Which of these types a country chooses depends on its particular naval requirements, resulting from its geographic location, political aspirations and intended role of its naval force. However, the majority of OPV programmes are of the cheaper multi-role variety. These are being used in an increasing number of roles, including fishery protection, pollution control, fire-fighting, salvage or search and rescue (SAR) counter-narcotics, humanitarian operations and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) patrol.