According to a statement released by the United States Embassy in Cameroon, on January 21, 2020, the Cameroonian Navy plans to purchase in 2020 two 110-foot (34m) Island-class American patrol boats to greater extend its ability to patrol Cameroon’s economic exclusion zone.
Starting in January 2020, the United States began its one-year secretariat of the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea Group, with Gabon serving as co-secretariat. This group coordinates the support of international partners for the maritime security standards agreed upon by West and Central African heads of state at a summit in Yaoundé in 2013. The G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea Group helps secure the Gulf of Guinea against the threats of piracy, armed robbery, and other illicit maritime activities. By creating the conditions for improved maritime security, this group fosters prosperity and economic growth for all countries along the Gulf of Guinea.
In 2016, the United States funded the creation of six maritime operations centers in Limbe, Douala, and Kribi that enable naval operations at sea, and we will continue to provide maintenance and training for these centers this year. Through 2017, the United States provided several Defender class rigid hull boats to the Cameroonian military for maritime patrols. One of the Defender boats was used in the August 2019 rescue of over 100 shipwreck victims after a boat coming from Nigeria capsized near Limbe.
Over the years, the U.S. has provided significant security assistance to Cameroon to achieve our mutual goals in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, countering violent extremism in the North, and supporting regional security initiatives.
The Island-class patrol boat is a class of cutters used the United States Coast Guard. It is a Coast Guard modification of a highly successful British-designed patrol boat. With excellent range and seakeeping capabilities, the Island Class, all named after U.S. islands, replaced the older 95-foot Cape-class patrol boats. These cutters are equipped with advanced electronics and navigation equipment.
Island-type boats have a full displacement of 165 tonnes and are able to reach speeds of up to 30 knots, with a cruising range exceeding 5,300 km. They are able to operate autonomously for up to five days. The ship can accommodate a crew of 16 people (including two officers).
The boats are equipped with AN / SPS-73 radar and a descent motorboat, the armament consists of a 25-mm tank automatic gun mount Mk 38 Mod 0 Bushmaster and two 12.7 mm M2NV machine guns. Usually, armaments are dismantled on boats transferred abroad, however, the boats were transferred to the Ukrainian side with artillery mounts, but without barrels installed (it is reported that the Ukrainian Navy is going to install 25-mm machine guns from old Soviet 2M-3M gun mounts on these gun mounts).