Uruguayan Defense Minister Javier García explained in an interview with Paysandú's 'El Telégrafo' earlier this week that the new Protector class Coast Guard cutters donated by the United States in November of 2022 were actively patrolling the country's river waterways bordering Argentina.
The Río Arapey, Río de La Plata, and Río Yaguarón were built between 1999 and 2009 at the U.S. Coast Guard shipyards. During 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that 8 of the 74 units were slated for decommissioning to be replaced by the more modern Sentinel Class vessels. The three units left for their new home country in September of 2022.
Patrolling is part of the border policy and the Uruguay River is a very important area. It is one of the main waterways and the border law provides for the custody of the river courses. On land, there are also 20 kilometers of borders inside, García explained.
With this donation received from the government of the United States, which Uruguay was in charge of its overhaul, the aim is to modernize the Armed Forces. In this case, the National Navy, whose vessels were in a precarious situation and on the verge of being phased out, the minister went on.
The Marine Protector Class Patrol Boats are a series of vessels built for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the late 1990s based on the Stan 2600 vessels designed by the Damen Group for missions against illegal drug and migrant smuggling at sea.