The Spanish Navy’s offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Infanta Cristina has just completed a third of her scheduled deployment in operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean.
The ‘Infanta Cristina’ integrated into the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) on March 6th. Her main mission is to patrol the IRTC (Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor) protecting merchant ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden against pirate attacks.
The OPV is also providing protection to UN and World Food program (WFP) ships sailing towards Somalia and has likewise conducted several maritime security operations as a result of the recent events in Yemen. The ‘Infanta Cristina’ is currently sailing off the coast of Somalia.
Since her integration in EUNAVFOR, the patrol boat has conducted 43 friendly approaches to different ships. These ships are visited to check they are not engaged in any illegal activity; valuable intelligence is gathered and local fishermen are informed on EUNAVFOR’s protection activities in the area.
So as not to interrupt the surveillance operation the Spanish Navy OPV has replenished at sea on five occasions from Allied fleet oilers deployed in the Indian Ocean.
Since her departure from Cartagena, the ‘Infanta Cristina’ has sailed more than 11,400 nautical miles.
Image: Spanish Navy