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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. The patroldivision 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 merchantmarine. 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

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 159 of 167


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