On November 12, Sputnik Georgia released an article headlined “Second-hand armament: what kind of patrol boats does the United States hand over to Ukraine.” Sputnik’s columnist, Alexander Khrolenko notes in the article that the United States sells off obsolete patrol boats to its partners and brings an example of Island class patrol boats, which, according to Khrolenko, are defective and useless.
Alexander Khrolenko: “Controlling the closest zone of the Black Sea with six Island class patrol boats, as well as assisting NATO in the Mediterranean is non-science and non-military fiction. Even hypothetically, any operations by patrol boats against the background of Russia’s modern Black Sea Navy will seem absolutely feeble… Moreover, watercrafts will be old, unreliable and dangerous for the crew; they were written off in 2017 due to the hull defects; most recently, they were repaired five years ago, prior to being written off. As a rule, such rubbish should be sent to the landfill, but astute Americans do not spend money on utilization. They have learned how to sell off old military equipment to their allies at dumping prices.”
Khrolenko’s claims as if the United States handed over obsolete patrol boats to Ukraine and other partners represent disinformation. Island class boats are modern patrol boats, which replaced Cape and Point class patrol boats and are successfully operating under the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Island class patrol boats are operating under the U.S. Coast Guard
Island class involves patrol boats, serving the U.S. Coast Guard. The first of the class was commissioned in February of 1986 and was assigned patrol duties in Miami, replacing Cape and Point class patrol boats. The Island class boats are expected to perform surveillance, law enforcement, and drug interdiction operations as well as search and rescue work.
With excellent range and seakeeping capabilities, the Island class cutters are equipped with advanced electronics and navigation equipment.
Of the original 49 Island-class 110-foot patrol boats 37 are still in the U.S. Coast Guard service. In 2006, eight cutters were upgraded to the 123' Island-class standard. But the Coast Guard suspended their use because of chronic hull cracking and engine problems.
- The United States handed over several 110-foot active patrol boats to its partners
Within the framework of the EDA program, the United States handed over several 110-foot Island class patrol boats to the Navies of its partner countries, including Georgia and Ukraine.
Georgia received two boats in 2016. As for Ukraine, the United States offered to give the country Island class boats in 2014, but by various reasons, among them ex-President Poroshenko’s private financial interests, the United States handed over the boats to the Naval Forces of Ukraine only in 2018. According to then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, not only the Island class boats will double the Ukrainian naval forces, but they will significantly improve their capabilities.
- Repeated attempts of discrediting the U.S. armament
At different times, Georgian media had been actively spreading disinformation about the United States allegedly providing useless and low-quality armament to its partners. In 2018-2019, the Myth Detector verified two fake reports by Georgia and World and Obieqtivi TV. They claimed that American Javelins and Stingers were useless and outdated and that the United States no longer used them.
Prepared by Mariam Dangadze
Myth Detector Lab