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French Defense Journal Says USSR Gave Arabs 40 Missile-firing Vessels

The French National Press Review said today that the Soviet Union had delivered about 40 naval vessels equipped with missile-launching ramps to countries bordering on the Mediterranean. The vessels are of the Komar and Osa types. The missiles which sank the Israeli destroyer Elath were fired from craft of the Osa class, given to the Egyptian Navy. The French journal noted that no Western nation had developed operational missile craft of this type and it warned that they “create a threat to our maritime forces which is far from negligible.”

(In Moscow, the USSR Defense Ministry newspaper, Red Star, hinted today that more Soviet naval ships will be added to the Russian Mediterranean Fleet. The newspaper said “the situation in the Mediterranean has changed and will continue to change, not in favor of the aggressors.”)