Ministry of Defence logo Defence Staff logo
Mapa del mundo

OPV 'Audaz' deploys in the African West Coast and the Gulf of Guinea

Cartagena Naval Base, Spain
January 13, 2023
  • The vessel will carry out maritime surveillance, military cooperation, support for the State's external action, and contribute to the European Union's 'Coordinated Maritime Presences' initiative.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 'Audaz' left its base in Cartagena today to begin a deployment to the African West coast and the Gulf of Guinea.

During the CMP-GoG (Coordinated Maritime Presence - Gulf of Guinea) deployment, the vessel will carry out maritime surveillance and environmental awareness activities on a permanent basis, thus contributing to increased maritime security in the region. It is also planned to carry out multiple military cooperation activities with the coastal countries fostering mutual knowledge and trust and helping to increase their capabilities in the area of maritime security. Similarly, the OPV 'Audaz' will support Spanish diplomatic delegations in the region, with the aim of contributing to the State's action abroad and reinforcing national interests in the region.

The vessel is expected to visit more than 10 African countries and cover more than 20,000 nautical miles in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Stability in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea is essential for Spain's security. Piracy and acts of robbery at sea pose a major risk to the national fishing and maritime community that operates legitimately in the region, where there is also a proliferation of illicit trafficking that poses a threat to our country. Likewise, instability in this region, which is a source of important energy resources for Spain, endangers free navigation along maritime lines that are essential for our country.

UE coordinated maritime presence

The 'Audaz' OPV deployment makes a crucial contribution to strengthening the European Union's Coordinated Maritime Presence initiative as an effective instrument to improve maritime security in the area, and to advance cooperation between the EU and West and Central African states. The aim of this mechanism in the region is to guarantee a permanent maritime presence and availability, to promote international maritime cooperation and to provide greater European operational capacity. It should be noted that Spain, as a partner fully committed to European security and defence, is one of the main contributors to this EU initiative.

OPV ‘Audaz’ (P.45)

The 'Audaz' is the first of the two vessels of the 1st series of four OPV´s (that the Spanish state-owned Navantia) built for the Spanish Navy. It was delivered on 26 JUL 2018 and is based in Cartagena. There are currently 77 people, of which 69 are men and 8 are women. Among them is an Operational Security Team of Marines from the Tercio de Armada (Navy Tercio), San Fernando, as well as a military reinforcement for specific capabilities. It is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Marcos de Sousa Fuchs.