New ship added to our Naval Force

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At the Pashaliman Naval Base in Vlora, it took place today the launching ceremony of the ship “Butrinti”, which was built in the Pashaliman shipyard, based on the contract with the Dutch company “Damen Shipyards”. This ceremony was attended Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Dritan Hila, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Jeronim Bazo, senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and General Staff, and many other guests. The ceremony was also attended by the UK Ambassador in Tirana, Mr. Nicholas Cannon, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Martin de la Beij and representatives of “Damen Shipyards”.

The ceremony was opened the Naval Force Commander, Brigadier General Qemal Shkurti. Then, Deputy Minister of Defence Hila addressed the Naval Force and Pashaliman shipyard personnel noting that, today we launch in water the ship “Butrinti”, the fourth ship of the class “Illyria”, which marks the successful completion of the most important project of the Naval Force on its way to modernization. This project began in 2007, with the signing of the contract between the Ministry of Defence of Albania, “Damen Shipyards” Company and Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The first fruit of this cooperation was the ship “Iliria”, built in Holland in 2008, and then, year after year, specialists and workers of Pashaliman shipyard, along with Dutch experts made possible the building of the ships “Oriku”, “Lissus” and now “Butrinti”. These ships have significantly increased the operational capabilities for control and monitoring of maritime traffic, protection of the marine environment, conducting search and rescue (SAR) operations, law enforcement and increase of maritime safety. They will also enhance the interoperability of our Armed Forces within NATO operations, regional initiatives and will be an important group to deal with various marine emergencies in the Adriatic-Ionian marine space.

The launching ceremony of the ship “Butrinti”, in the 5th anniversary of NATO membership, said Mr. Hila, takes place in a moment where our Naval Force personnel is more professional, able to manage the marine space, as well as more interactive with homologous structures of NATO partner countries. But, in our vision for the future, we still have much to do. In the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, there are important shipping routes, but on the other hand, these seas can also be used as a route for illegal trafficking, illegal immigration, etc. Therefore, monitoring, control and enforcement of the law on the sea by the Naval Force should be more professionally capable, efficient and with modern operational capabilities.
Deputy Minister Hila expressed gratitude to the Dutch Government that helped for the implementation of this project, to the “Damen Shipyards” Company for the close and serious cooperation offered and congratulated the workers, technicians, engineers and all those who made possible the fulfilment of this project.

In the end, Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Dritan Hila, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Jeronim Bazo and other participants at the ceremony followed the launching moments of the ship “Butrinti”.



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