Venezuela's propaganda videos show warships armed with new Chinese-made anti-ship missiles.
The C-802A missile, supplied by Beijing to the Venezuelan navy, is designed to shoot down surface ships at extended ranges. The a missile is broadly similar to the Harpoon . This arms deal is expected to greatly increase the range and power of President Nicolás Maduro's navy.
The acquisition was revealed on September 25 by the Venezuelan Navy (formally known as the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela ). Footage of a test shot is now used in propaganda videos posted online, including Maduro's official Twitter account ( in Spanish ).
The footage is not actually of a Venezuelan navy ship. It is taken from a Royal Thai Navy test launch of the C-802A missile. That launch, from the Thai Navy's HTMS Kraburi frigate, can be viewed on YouTube .
But that doesn't mean China didn't provide the system. Misleading images are an integral part of the Venezuelan Navy's propaganda. For example, the same video shows a Venezuelan submarine Type-209, when in reality those vehicles have not taken off in years. But the lack of images aboard a Venezuelan Navy ship suggests that they have not yet equipped their ships with the missile.
According to sources, the missiles are likely to equip Venezuela's Guaiquerí-class patrol boats. This makes sense because in June 2017 the Venezuelan Navy was taking steps to equip two unspecified offshore patrol vessels with the missile for approximately $ 2.9 million. The Venezuelan Navy has three Guaiquerí-class ships, so it is possible that one will run out of missiles.
Meanwhile, the two Italian-built Lupo-class frigates are equipped for Otomat Mk 2 missiles, as well as some missile ships. The Lupo are the most capable warships of the Venezuelan formation, but they are increasingly dated. The other modern warships, the Guaicamacuto-class patrol boats, are optimized for coastal operations and do not have missile armament. It was one of these ships, Naiguatá (GC-23), which was lost on March 23, 2020.
The Venezuelan armed forces have been hit hard by the country's economic difficulties and international sanctions. However, they were able to procure advanced weapons from Russia and now China. In addition to the C-802A anti-ship missiles, China has supplied small arms and general equipment. This acquisition is a reminder that despite their economic and internal challenges, they are still focusing on weapons to face external adversaries.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on DataBase Italia at the URL https://www.databaseitalia.it/la-cina-sta-armando-la-marina-venezuelana-con-missili-anti-nave/ on Thu, 22 Oct 2020 08:43:06 +0000.