US-based ship construction and repair company Swiftships Shipbuilders will design and build nine patrol boats for the Iraqi Navy, under a $180m contract.

As per the contract, the company will build nine Swiftships model 35PB1208E-1455 patrol boats and will provide associated equipment including six 30mm gun weapons systems, machine gun mounts and cradles, spare parts as well as technical services.

Major construction work will be carried out in Los Angeles and the rest in Michigan, Mississippi and Virginia. It is expected to be complete by August 2012.

The foreign sales contract was awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command.