US gives two former Marine Protector class patrol boats to Ghana Navy

According to information published by the Ghanaian MoD on June 28, 2023, the United States offers two patrol boats to the Ghana Navy. Guy Martin has learned that they are two former Marine Protector-class patrol boats.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Marine Protector class patrol boats. (Picture source: Ghana DoD)

The United States and Ghana have enjoyed a long-standing military relationship, characterized by cooperation, training programs, and mutual support.

Both countries often participate in joint training exercises. For example, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducts yearly exercises, such as the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), with numerous African nations, including Ghana. These exercises help improve coordination and capacity in areas like maritime security.

Furthermore, Ghana has been a recipient of U.S. foreign military financing (FMF) which assists in the purchasing of U.S. military equipment, services, and training to build defense capabilities and promote military-to-military relationships.

While the relationship is mainly cooperative, it has faced some controversy. For instance, in 2018, there were protests in Ghana over a defense cooperation agreement that granted the U.S. military access to certain Ghanaian facilities and areas. Critics viewed this agreement as undermining Ghanaian sovereignty.

About the class

The Marine Protector-class patrol boat is used for various law enforcement and search and rescue operations. Its responsibilities include countering drug smuggling and illegal immigration, enforcing marine fisheries laws, and providing support for search and rescue missions.

With a displacement of 91 long tons, the patrol boat measures 87 feet (27 m) in length and 19 feet 5 inches (5.92 m) in beam, with a draft of 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m).

The boat is powered by two MTU diesel engines, enabling it to reach impressive speeds of over 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph). With a range of 900 nautical miles (1,700 km), it has an endurance of three days, making it suitable for various patrol and surveillance activities.

This class of patrol boat accommodates a crew of 10. It is equipped with advanced systems, including an AN/SPS-73 surface search radar for efficient and effective surveillance and tracking operations.

In terms of armament, the Marine Protector-class patrol boat is outfitted with two .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns.