Mako Marine concludes delivery of boats to Mozambique’s military

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South African inflatable boat manufacturer Mako Marine has concluded the delivery of a number of inflatable boats to the Armed Forces of Mozambique (FADM).

Mozambique’s President and Commander-in-Chief Filipe Nyusi on 15 February inspected the newly delivered Mako Defender 470 boats, which were acquired to replace old and damaged boats. The Mako 470 is a fully inflatable model with a rigid aluminium floor and Hypalon (hydrocarbon resistant material) pontoons, reinforced for military use. It is powered by a 50 hp Yamaha outboard engine, which was selected due to its simplicity, ease of maintenance and ready availability of parts.

During his tour, Nyusi visited the Marine Corps Barracks, Artillery Practical School and Maputo Naval Base. He inspected the more than half a dozen Mako boats that were recently delivered to the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique, along with crew training. This took place from 14 to 17 February at Catembe Military Base outside Maputo and saw eighteen people attend the course.

Mako Marine Africa has been building boats for over thirty years and specialises in supplying commercial and military boats across the continent. Other services provided are boat repairs and boat training. Customers have acquired Mako boats for naval use, law enforcement, search and rescue, coast guards, special forces, border patrol, fisheries and conservation, disaster management, and anti-piracy.

Customers on the continent include Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. Many of these are naval customers.

The company’s flagship military boat is the fully inflatable Defender, which has been supplied to various African military and Special Forces units for use in all marine environments, including seas, lakes and rivers. “It is the only craft of its type that can be transported by road or air into any area and be deployed to carry combatants in a variety of missions,” according to Mako Africa.

The Defender range comes in five different models, ranging in length from 3.8 to 5.85 metres. The Mako Defender DF470 typically takes an outboard engine of 50 hp, and can carry up to 10 passengers or 1 250 kg of payload. The boat is 4.7 metres long and uses six buoyancy chambers as well as an inflatable keel. It can be rapidly inflated and deflated according to operator requirements.

Mako Marine also offers rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) for military applications, which are ideal for things like harbour patrol, fisheries enforcement, interception etc. These are available in lengths from 4.5 to 9.5 metres.

Other Mako products include rescue craft and custom high density polyethylene (HDPE) boats (HDPE boats have also been supplied to Mozambique under a previous contract). Mako’s training courses cover basic boat operations, courses for instructors, and advanced boating operations, while backup and support are delivered via its Cape Town-based facility.