PARIS (Mar. 23)
Libya has ordered in France 10 fast patrol boats armed with sea-to-sea missiles and described as having a firing power superior to a World War II cruiser.
The boats, which will be manufactured in the Cherbourg shipyard where Israel had ordered its own “Cherbourg boats.” will cost three billion francs or some $600 million. According to French naval experts; they will give Libya a strong deterrent force and a strike power for action 2000 miles from Libya’s shores.
The 250-ton boats are armed with four sea-to-sea missiles manufactured by “Matra” and a 76 mm, anti-aircraft gun described as one of the best in the Western world. The boats have a cruising speed of 15 knots per hour and reached a top speed of 40 knots during tests on the high sea.
The French paper. Le Monde, reports that France managed to get the deal thanks to the decision to free Palestinian terrorist Abu Daoud after his arrest last January.