Panama receives interceptor vessels from the Netherlands

Photo: Damen

Panama’s National Air and Naval Service has received four Damen-built Interceptor 1102 vessels that will be used in the Caribbean Sea. 

The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, christened all four vessels in a ceremony held on 6 February 2017.

Coinciding with the vessel handover, SENAN also signed a second contract with Damen for an additional batch of four Interceptors. Both contracts include an after-sales package that consists of training, spare parts and maintenance.

SENAN will mobilise the four new vessels from its Fort Sherman naval base located at the Caribbean end of the Panama Canal. The vessels’ primary function will be to combat illegal drug-trafficking activities in the surrounding area.

Built in Turkey, the four vessels, with their low weight construction from fibre reinforced polymer composite materials combined with twin Volvo D6 engines are capable of reaching speeds of more than 55 knots. According to Damen, the single chine hull reduces the amount of impact in heavier seas and improves high speed manoeuvrability.

The 11-metre long Interceptor carries six persons on board (two crew plus four additional naval or security personnel) and is suited for other maritime security operations like anti-smuggling, anti-terrorist, rapid response, surveillance and Special Forces operations.

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