On December 7, Croatian Navy received the lead ship of a new generation of inshore patrol boats in a ceremony at the Admiral flote Sveto Letica – Barba navy base in Split. The patrol boat was also officially named ‘Omiš’ with pennant number OOB-31 (OOB standing for inshore patrol vessel). Omiš was delivered with a year-long delay, after completing builder’s and state trials.The first of potential five units in its class was initially expected to be delivered by the end of 2017 after entering water in June 2017. The keel for the vessel was laid in September 2015. Following delivery, the vessel will spend another five months undergoing further first-of-class trials.
Omiš was built as part of a five-vessel, HRK 385,4 million (approx. US$58.5m), contract signed between the Croatian ministry of defense and Brodosplit in December 2014. It has been 16 years since the last military ship was built in a Croatian shipyard for the needs of the Croatian Navy. A The 43,25-meter vessel carries the Aselsan-built 30 mm SMASH remote controlled naval gun system, two Herstal 12,7mm machine guns and Strela manpads. Omiš will be crewed by 16 sailors and will perform patrol, search and rescue, and EEZ protection tasks. In the event of war the vessels may be used for protection of internal waters and for combat and logistic support.
The introduction of the inshore patrol boat into operational service is another project modernisation and deveopment of new capabilities of the Croatian Navy. The Croatian Navy (Hrvatska ratna mornarica or HRM) was formed in 1991 from what Croatian forces managed to capture from the Yugoslav Navy during the Breakup of Yugoslavia and Croatian War of Independence. In addition to mobile coastal missile launchers, today it operates 29 vessels, divided into the Navy Flotilla for traditional naval duties, and the Croatian Coast Guard. Five missile boats form Croatian fleet’s main offensive capability.
Brodosplit is the largest shipyard in Croatia, located in the Supaval bay, on the north side of the Split peninsula. The company was founded in 1922 by a merger of shipyards in the area and has been in its current location since 1932. With significant development in the latter half of the 20th century, it has grown into one of Croatian largest shipyards. Brodosplit was a joint stock company, with the Government of Croatia as the majority holder. It employed nearly 4,000 people and had experience in designing and building a wide range of ships for an international market.