More counter-piracy duty for Navy OPVs
The offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) are increasingly being used as platforms to carry Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) teams who are responsible for the boarding and searching suspect vessels.
Operation Copper is a tri-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative to reduce piracy off the east coast of southern Africa. President Jacob Zuma extended South Africa’s commitment to the operation until the next of February next year. South Africa, along with Mozambique and Tanzania, committed to the counter-piracy operation in 2011.
Isaac Dyobha is scheduled to be replaced by SAS Galeshewe (P1567) as the command cadre of the maritime arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) appears to be moving to using exclusively OPVs on Operation Copper deployments. Galeshewe is set to take over from Isaac Dyobha at the end of January.
The OPVs currently operated by the Navy are all refurbished Warrior Class strikecraft with Makhanda coming out of SA Shipyards Durban facility earlier this year. She then successfully underwent all acceptance trials and was deployed on her first tour of counter-piracy duty in July.
READ MOREDefence spend, more vessels needed if ocean economy is to be protected
Africa’s west coast is next Navy anti-piracy deployment
Revamped strike craft ready for counter-piracy duty
SAS Spioenkop returns from Operation Copper
The Navy initially deployed its Valour Class frigates for Operation Copper duty but the reintroduction of the OPVs, albeit as modified vessels but still capable of packing a punch, has seen them used almost exclusively in this task.
Air support is provided by a C-47TP operated by AFB Ysterplaat-based 35 Squadron based at Pemba in Mozambique. An Oryx helicopter is also usually deployed to Pemba in Mozambique as further aerial support. This aircraft is provided by either15, 17 or 19 Squadron.
While South Africa has maintained a naval and aerial presence in the Mozambique Channel only one maritime platform, the supply ship SAS Drakensberg has actively worked a piracy contact. She was designated in the “stopper” role for an EU Naval Force action further up the east African coast off Somalia.
- Revamped SAA Airbus A340-600 to become new presidential aircraft?
- Speech: Mapisa-Nqakula ahead of AAD
- Naval Base Simon’s Town theft has court sequel
- SANDF says two suspects arrested for theft of weapons from Simon’s Town
- Burglary at Navy armament depot in Simon’s Town
- Ex Red Lion embarks on armed humanitarian mission
- Ex Red Lion “going well,” task group commander says
- Speech: Mapisa-Nqakula on Arque la Battaille centenary
- Ex Red Lion - testing the Navy on land and at sea
- SA Navy completes successful live firing exercise
Saab extends third-party maintenance support for peacekeeping initiatives in Africa
by Saab, 26 September 2016
Saab Kenya has extended a contract to provide third-party maintenance services to peacekeeping initiatives in Somalia.
Saab receives order for RBS 70 NG
by Saab, 22 September 2016
System deliveries will take place between 2018 and 2020, followed by long-term maintenance and support of the systems.
Inkunzi PAW - the bull - redefining the idea of 'fighting light'
by Denel Corporate, 21 September 2016
Denel PMP introduced the Inkunzi PAW, a semi-automatic weapon that can destroy high-value targets up to a range of 1 000 metres.