A few days ago, the new patrol boat "Isla de León" P-83 of the Spanish Navy joined her parking base in the Autonomous City of Ceuta.
The patrol boat belongs to the Rodman 101 class, manufactured by the Spanish company Rodman Polyships. The patrol boat was launched in Vigo in 2003 and acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture, being ceded to the Xunta de Galicia. The Galician Coast Guard operated her under the name "Paio Gómez Chariño" IP-700, in honor of Payo Guomez Charino (1225-1295, as his name appears on his tombstone), a Galician admiral of the Navy of the Crown of Castile.
The Rodman 101 class is 30 meters long and 6 meters wide and reaches a maximum speed of between 27 and 35 knots. These patrol boats are powered by two engines with between 1,369 and 2,366 CV (depending on the model). This model is well known among the State Security Forces: the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard has 15 units and the Customs Surveillance Service operates 11. These patrol boats have also been exported abroad: the Moroccan and Philippine Navies have 10 units each, the Nicaraguan Naval Force has 4, the Surinamese Navy and the Omani Coastal Police have 3 units each, and the Cameroonian Navy bought 2.
During her time in Galicia, the "Isla de León" was dedicated to fishing inspection and surveillance on the Galician coast, in addition to supporting the fishing fleet and taking part in operations to combat marine pollution and in search and rescue missions along with the helicopters of the Galician Coast Guard. The patrol boat used to cast moorings in the dock of the Vigo Maritime Station.
After her return by the Galician Coast Guard, the patrol boat was ceded to the Ministry of Defense in 2022, receiving her gray paint on the Ferrol Naval Train, according to the website Puente de Mando, waiting of her registration in the Official List of Navy Ships, which took place on October 14.
Curiously, the Navy has included the "Isla de León" in the Toralla Class, to which two other patrol boats belong that are not Rodman 101, but were built by the Viudes Shipyards in Barcelona at the end of the 1980s: the "Toralla" P-81 (launched in 1987) and the "Formentor" P-82 (launched in 1989). This is a frustrated class, since the Spanish Navy did not want to acquire more after its benefits were not as expected. The two aforementioned patrol boats are based at the Cartagena Military Arsenal.
As reported by the Spanish Navy last Friday, the patrol boat "Isla de León" has replaced the veteran patrol boat P-114, launched in 1979 and which established its base in Ceuta on July 19 of 1993, with the mission of taking charge of maritime surveillance and the conservation and protection of Spanish sovereign waters in that area. Now the P-114 will be assigned to the city of Huelva.
"With this relief, the Navy increases its capabilities in the area of the Strait in the different assigned responsibilities", the Spanish Navy has pointed out. At her new destination, the "Isla de León" will operate from the "España" pier, on its west side, and will carry a crew of 10 people and will be part of the Maritime Action Force (FAM), which brings together the patrolmen of the Spanish Navy. Specifically, the "Isla de León" will be under the responsibility of the Command of Maritime Action Units in Cádiz (COMARDIZ). Her mission to monitor it "will be focused on the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar and waters under Spanish jurisdiction in the Autonomous City of Ceuta", as reported by the Navy.
Main photo: Armada Española. The patrol boat "Isla de León" in a towing exercise with the tugboat "Mahón" of the Spanish Navy last November, a few weeks after being registered on the Official List of Navy Ships.
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