Revolutionary Navy
Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria
Badge of the Cuban Revolutionary Navy
Founded1959; 63 years ago (1959)
Country Cuba
TypeNaval
RoleNaval warfare
Part ofRevolutionary Armed Forces
Nickname(s)MGR
Insignia
Naval Jack of Cuba
Naval Aviation roundel

The Cuban Revolutionary Navy (Spanish: Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria) is the navy of Cuba.

History

The Constitutional Navy of Cuba was the navy of Cuba that existed prior to 1959. During World War II, it sank the German submarine U-176 on 15 May 1943.

The helicopter carrier patrol vessel Rio Damuji n° 390 in Havana (July 2011)
The helicopter carrier patrol vessel Rio Damuji n° 390 in Havana (July 2011)

During the Cold War, the Cuban Navy successfully captured the freighters Leyla Express and Johnny Express, both vessels blamed for CIA-related activities against Cuba. In 1988, the Cuban Navy boasted 12,000 men, three submarines, two modern guided-missile frigates, one intelligence vessel, and a large number of patrol craft and minesweepers.[1] However, most of the Soviet-made vessels have been decommissioned or sunk to make reefs. By 2007, the Cuban Navy was assessed as being 3,000 strong (including up to 550+ Navy Infantry) by the IISS with six Osa-II and one Pauk-class corvette. The Cuban Navy also includes a small marine battalion called the Desembarco de Granma. It once numbered 550 men though its present size is not known.

Cuban Navy today

A Cuban Foxtrot-class submarine

After the old Soviet submarines were put out of service, Cuba searched for help from North Korea's experience in midget submarines. North Korean defectors claimed to have seen Cubans in mid to late 1990s in a secret submarine base and appeared in public view years later a single picture of a small black native submarine in Havana harbour. It is rumored to be called 'Delfin' and is to be armed with two torpedoes. Only a single boat is in service and the design appears original, even if influenced both by North Korea and Soviet designs.[2][3]

The Cuban Navy rebuilt one, large ex-Spanish Rio Damuji fishing boat. BP-390 is now armed with two C-201W missiles, one twin 57 mm gun mount, two twin 25 mm gun mounts and on 14.5 mm machine gun. This vessel is larger than the Koni class, and it is used as a helicopter carrier patrol vessel. A second unit (BP-391) was converted and entered service in 2016.[4]

The Cuban Navy today operates its own missile systems, the made-in-Cuba Bandera (a copy of the dated Styx Soviet missiles) and Remulgadas anti-ship missile systems, as well as the nationally produced Frontera self-propelled coastal defence multiple rocket launcher. The navy's principal threats are drug smuggling and illegal immigration. The country's geographical position and limited naval presence has enabled traffickers to utilise Cuban territorial waters and airspace.[5]

The Cuban Navy's air wing is an ASW helicopter operator only and is equipped with 2 MI-14 Haze helicopters.[6]

Fleet

Current

Fleet equipment

Ground forces organization

Naval Ground forces equipment

Naval Aviation aircraft

Cuban naval aviation
Aircraft Origin Type Notes
Mil Mi-14 USSR ASW 2

The border guards have: 2 Stenka class patrol boats and as of 2007 approximately a dozen, down from 30/48, Zhuk patrol craft. Cuba makes Zhuk patrol craft and some are seen with an SPG-9 mounted on front of the twin 30mm guns.[8][9]

Historic

References

  1. ^ "Cuba: Havana's Military Machine". August 1988.
  2. ^ "Delfin". hisutton.com. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  3. ^ Sutton, H. I. "New Photo Reveals Cuban Navy's Secret Submarine". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  4. ^ = Un baluarte sobre el mar "Un baluarte sobre el mar". granma. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018. ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help)
  5. ^ "Global Security on Cuban Navy".
  6. ^ Cuban Armed Forces Review: Air Force Archived 2009-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Delfin". hisutton.com. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Zhuk class". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Cuban Border Guard". Retrieved 9 December 2012.