Spanish Meteoro class OPV Audaz conducts patrol with US Coast Guard in Gulf of Guinea

According to information published by the Spanish MoD on February 10, 2023, the Spanish Meteoro class OPV Audaz conducts an exercise with US Coast Guard Spencer in the Gulf of Guinea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Spanish Meteoro class OPV Audaz and US Coast Guard's Medium endurance cutter Spencer. (Picture source: Spanish MoD)

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is characterized not only by piracy but by a myriad of maritime crimes despite piracy often dominating the conversation on maritime security. The notable crimes in the Gulf of Guinea are illegal fishing, kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking, and oil-bunkering.

About the OPV

The Audaz (P-45) is a member of the Meteoro-class patrol vessels built for the Spanish Navy. It is the fifth ship of its class and the fourth Navy vessel to carry the name Audaz.

The ship was constructed at Navantia's shipyard in San Fernando, Spain. Offshore patrol vessels like the Audaz are typically used for tasks such as coastal surveillance, anti-piracy operations, and search and rescue missions.

The ship has a displacement of 2860 tons when fully loaded, a length of 93.9 meters, and a beam of 14.2 meters. It is powered by two diesel engines and four diesel generator groups, and has a top speed of 20 knots.

The Audaz has a range of 3,500 nautical miles and is capable of carrying 46 crew members and 30 forces. For armament, the ship is equipped with a 76 mm/62 cannon, two 25 mm automatic mountings, two 12.7 mm machine guns, and is capable of carrying one NH-90 aircraft.