Cuban Revolutionary Navy
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|Cuban Revolutionary Navy|
Naval Jack of Cuba
|Part of||Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces|
The Cuban Revolutionary Navy is the naval branch of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces.
In 1988, the Cuban Navy boasted 12,000 men, three submarines, two modern guided-missile frigates, one intelligence vessel, and a large number of patrol craft and minesweepers. However, most of the Soviet-made vessels have been decommissioned or sunk to make artificial reefs. By 2007, the Cuban Navy was assessed as being 3,000 strong by the IISS with six Osa-II and one Pauk-class corvette. It also includes a naval infantry battalion with about 550 men, named the Desembarco de Granma.
After the old Soviet submarines were put out of service, Cuba searched for help from North Korea's experience in midget submarines. North Korean defectors claimed to have seen Cubans in mid to late 1990s in a secret submarine base and appeared in public view years later through a single picture of a small black native submarine in Havana harbour. It is rumored to be called Delfin and is to be armed with two torpedoes. Only a single boat is in service and the design appears original, though influenced both by North Korea and Soviet designs.
The Cuban Navy rebuilt one large ex-Spanish Rio Damuji fishing boat. BP-390 is now armed with two C-201W missiles, one twin 57 mm gun mount, two twin 25 mm gun mounts and on 14.5 mm machine gun. This vessel is larger than the Koni class, and it is used as a helicopter carrier patrol vessel. A second unit (BP-391) was converted and entered service in 2016.
The Cuban Navy today operates its own domestically-developed missile systems, the Bandera (a copy of the dated Soviet Styx missiles) and Remulgadas anti-ship missile systems, as well as the nationally produced Frontera self-propelled coastal defence multiple rocket launcher. The navy's principal operations are countering drug smuggling and illegal immigration. The country's geographical position and limited naval presence has enabled traffickers to utilise Cuban territorial waters and airspace.
The Cuban Navy's air wing is an ASW helicopter operator only and is equipped with 2 MI-14 Haze helicopters.
|Mi-14 Haze||Soviet Union||ASW||has 2|
|Vought OS2U-3||United States||Bomber|
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