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.
Top stories this week
- Italy rescues 2,500 boat migrants in three days
- Migrant bodies recovered, 13 in shipping container
- Egypt getting MSPV Panthera T6 armoured vehicles
- Dead migrants wash up on Libyan beach
- Gaddafi son’s trial unfair, should go to ICC: UN
- EU pushing migration talks with Egypt, Tunisia
- Convoy carrying head of UN-backed Libya government shot at
- Italian court investigates whether smugglers finance rescue boats
- New request from Libya to NATO for military training
- Egypt brokers Libya peace roadmap without key figures
Invitation to Saab's annual Gripen seminar
by Saab, 22 February 2017
The media, financial analysts and investors have been asked to attend the seminar in Stockholm, Sweden, on 15 March.
Saab launches CoastControl, next level of Coastal Security, at IDEX 2017
by Saab, 21 February 2017
CoastControl combines surveillance and communications products with a workflow management tool to help coastal security personnel stay ahead of any situation.
Saab to deliver CBRN equipment to INTERPOL
by Saab, 21 February 2017
The CBRN sampling equipment and a certified transport packaging container will be delivered to INTERPOL's BioTerrorism Prevention Unit.