Indian and Portuguese naval vessels visit South Africa


South Africa is currently hosting naval vessels from two nations, with the Indian Navy frigate INS Trishul in Durban and the Portuguese patrol ship NRP Setúbal and submarine NRP Arpão in Cape Town.

Coinciding with the Portuguese vessels being in port, the President of Portugal Rebelo de Sousa is in South Africa for a State Visit and will celebrate Portugal Day on 10 June. According to an SABC report, Portugal’s president visits a different country to celebrate the Day of Portugal with the Portuguese Diaspora. There are approximately 500 000 South Africans of Portuguese descent and about 200 000 Portuguese nationals who reside in SA permanently, serving as an important economic link between the two countries.

The patrol vessel NRP Setúbal is 84 metres in length, and has a displacement of 1 850 tons. She has diesel-electric propulsion, and is powered by two Wärtsilä diesel engines, producing 5 200 bhp (3 900 kW), providing power to two electric motors, which drive two controllable pitch propellers for a maximum patrol service speed of 21 knots. For added manoeuvrability she has a bow transverse thruster.

Built in Portugal, the ship was commissioned in 2019 as one of ten proposed vessels. NRP Setúbal is the fourth in the class. She has a complement of 42 crew and is designed as a non-combatant ship and is therefore lightly armed.

NRP Arpão is a Tridente-class attack submarine and is currently on a 13 000 nautical mile voyage that has taken her for the first time south of the equator. She is visiting Cape Verde, Brazil, South Africa, Angola, and Morocco, which is the longest ever Portuguese submarine deployment.

The boat displaces 1 700 tonnes surfaced and has a length of 67.7 metres and width of 6.35 metres. Her speed is 20 knots submerged and 10 knots on the surface. The submarine was built by HDW and was laid down in 2005.

Her propulsion consists of two AIP Siemens Sinavy (BZM-120) generators, two MTU 16V396 TB-94 diesel engines, one Siemens Permasyn electric engine, and has a speed of 20 knots submerged and 10 knots surfaced. Her range is 12 000 nautical miles at 8 knots with an endurance of 60 days.

NRP Arpão has a crew of 35 and was commissioned in 2010. She is commanded by frigate captain Taveira Pinto.

The third foreign naval ship to visit South Africa is the Indian Navy frigate, INS Trishul, which arrived off Durban on 6 June. The ship is on an operational deployment in the Indian Ocean and just sailed from Mombasa after a visit to Kenya.

INS Trishul is the second frigate of the Talwar class within the Indian Navy. Built in Russia as a modified Krival III class and commissioned in June 2003, she incorporates stealth technologies together with a hull designed to reduce the ship’s radar cross section.

The frigate displaces 4,035 tons loaded and has a length of 125 metres and width of 15.2m. Powered by two DS-71 cruise turbines and two DT 59 boost turbines, the ship can achieve a speed of 30 knots. Her crew complement totals 180 personnel, including 18 officers.

Her main gun is a 100mm A190E and is supported by two Kashtan CIWS ships guns and two torpedo tubes. The ship’s armament also includes anti-air and anti-ship/land missiles and a number of cruise missiles.

INS Trishul first visited Durban on 8 September 2003.

Written by Terry Hutston. Republished with permission from Africa Ports. The original article can be found here.