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Elbit Systems has supplied 12 tactical boats to the Ecuadorian Army, which will use them to reinforce security of its northern border with Colombia, where they will patrol the Amazon basin. No 19 ‘Napo’ Jungle Brigade will operate them to fight organised crime in the border area, especially along the Napo, San Miguel and Putumayo rivers.

Each boat can carry 11 fully-equipped troops, is 8.35m long with a 2.6m beam, built of marine aluminium and with armoured weapon stations – carrying up to four IWI NEGEV 5.56mm machineguns. They also feature communications, navigation and GPS systems. The $7.9 million (€6.6 million) contract covers the boats, communications system, protective vests and life jackets.

According to a report from the Ministry of the Economy in Quito, some $4.6 million will be allocated this year for new vessels and an additional $13 million for boosting mobility and strategic capacity in the northern border region.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON

A pair of the boats delivered to Ecuador. (Photo: Diego Puente)

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