Four patrol boats ordered by the Kuwaiti navy in 1995 have left the western French port of Cherbourg, the Normandy shipyard announced Thursday.
The patrol boats, equipped with missile launchers, left on Wednesday after a ceremony attended by Kuwait's ambassador to France, the head of the Kuwaiti navy and other officials from both countries.
The boats, equipped with sea-to-sea Sea Skua missiles made by the Franco-British arms-makers Matra-British Aerospace Dynamics, will patrol the Kuwaiti coastline and its nine islands in the Gulf.
France sold eight of the boats to Kuwait for FF2.4 billion (€366 million, $332 million) as replacements for vessels lost during the Gulf War. The other four have already been delivered. The vessels are 42 metres long (139 feet), weigh 250 tonnes and can reach a speed of up to 30 knots.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )