Palma de Majorca.— “The new technology is designed to speed up the vessel's response time and to increase the effectiveness of its operations on the high seas,” said Lieutenant-Commander Fernández-Portal Diaz del Rio yesterday on board the new ocean patrol vessel “Meteoro” docked in Porto Pi.

The vessel is one of the newest of its kind and 95percent of it has been built in Spain. It is intended to replace the oldest ships in the Navy's fleet.

“All the systems are shown on monitoring screens,” said Lieutenant-Commander Fernandez-Portal “but this ship isn't designed for combat. “Rather for self-defence and to discourage whoever - or whatever - might be the enemy,” he said, explaining that one of his main missions was to fight against illegal drug trafficking, piracy, terrorist threats and contamination.

On board the Meteoro are two bullet proof RIBS with two 260 C.V. motors hidden from outside view, and apart from room for three helicopters, the vessel can also accommodate unmanned aircraft.

As far as the ship's armaments are concerned, the Meteoro is geared to ward off attacks by other ships or from aircraft with artillery pieces guided by laser from the digital control centre in the interior so that the gunners are not exposed to enemy fire. Her regular crew is 35 but she can carry double that number.

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