US, Italy shipyards in lead to build new Iraqi navy

U.S. and Italian shipyards are favoured to win tenders to build 19 ships and patrol boats for the fledgling Iraqi navy to enable it to take over security of Iraq’s vital off-shore oil terminals, a naval official said.

Commodore Thamir Nasser said 15 patrol boats, four corvettes and two off-shore support vessels would be bought under a two-year equipment acquisition programme that would boost the navy’s ability to protect the platforms from terrorist attack.