NORFOLK, Va. - The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) seized weapons from a stateless vessel in international water of the North Arabian Sea earlier this month.
USS Monterey and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding May 6 and 7.
The cache of weapons included dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles, thousands of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles and hundreds of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launchers. Other weapon components included advanced optical sights, according to the U.S. Navy.
The weapons' source and intended destination are still under investigation, and the cargo is in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition.
Monterey provided more than 36 hours of over watch and security for its boarding teams and the interdicted vessel throughout the two-day operation.
After all illicit cargo was removed, the vessel was assessed for seaworthiness, and after questioning, its crew was provided food and water before being released.