Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents



As of 1990, naval strength stood at 4,500, which included both naval air personnel and marines. Personnel had been reduced from a high of 6,200 in 1983. The only naval base in operation was located at Montevideo, where facilities included a dry dock and a slipway. In addition to the naval staff, the navy's commander was assisted by the chief of forces afloat and the chiefs of naval education and training, naval aviation, customs, and the marine police.

The navy was active in riverine and offshore patrol, transport, and sea-and-air rescue. In the late 1980s, naval vessels seized foreign boats caught fishing illegally in the country's territorial waters. The navy also played a role in interdicting drug traffickers.

The fleet command was divided into one escort division and one patrol division. The escort division operated a newly acquired French frigate, as well as one other frigate, one destroyer escort, and one corvette, all formerly in service with the United States Navy (see table 20, Appendix). The patrol division had three relatively modern French-built large patrol craft, one antiquated Italian-built large patrol craft, two United States-built large patrol craft (delivered in February 1990), and two small patrol craft. The fleet also included one minesweeper, five amphibious landing craft, one training vessel, and a small number of support and utility craft. An additional two frigates of the same class (Rivière) as that purchased in 1988 were contracted for in February 1990. The ships were due for extensive refitting, making their delivery date uncertain.

Uruguayan Naval Aviation had 400 personnel. Operations were divided into combat, communications, and training elements. All naval aircraft were based at the naval air base at Laguna del Sauce in Maldonado Department. The marine detachment numbered 500 and was organized into a single battalion.

All naval schools were located at the Naval Training Center in the Montevideo port area. Naval officers underwent a five-year course at the Naval Academy, graduates of which were also commissioned in the National Maritime Police and the merchant marine. The senior school for naval officers was the Naval War College. Enlisted personnel were trained at the School of Naval Specialization.

The navy commanded the 1,500-strong National Maritime Police, which performed coast guard duties, supervised the nation's ports and merchant marine, and acted as a harbor police. The maritime police operated three small patrol craft and a buoy tender. Its personnel were trained by the navy.

Data as of December 1990