Twiga demos boat range in Simons Town


Twiga Services and Logistics took part in the recent Maritime Security Conference by showcasing its military patrol boats to local and international delegates in Simons Town.

The company had its 850 MPB Gun boat and 850 MPB Logistics boat on display, giving local and international delegates the opportunity to experience the manoeuvrability and performance of the boats at sea. The Maritime Security Conference was held on 11 and 12 April in Simons Town.

Amongst those who examined Twiga’s boat range and spent time on the water experiencing a practical demonstration of the boats’ capabilities was the Chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Mosiwa Samuel Hlongwane, who was joined by his counterparts from Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Twiga told defenceWeb the 850 MPB Gun boat was fitted with a 12.7 mm machinegun on the bow weapon station, which provides the gunner with a 270 degree arc of fire from the bow deck. The side weapon hard points, on the starboard and port sides, were fitted with PKM machineguns. Communication between the boats was done using Reutech military radios.

The 850 MPB Logistics boat was fitted with one 12.7 mm machinegun on a bow weapon station. It can accommodate ten additional passengers on the removable bench seating.

On static display outside the conference venue was a high speed 850 MPB Gun boat on a Twiga off-road trailer.

Twiga’s MPB range is manufactured from extremely tough High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), making them virtually unsinkable, although slightly heavier than more conventional boats. The HDPE provides positive bouncy and is simple to maintain should it suffer damage. Gunfire often causes minimal damage that is unlikely to cause the boat to sink, and is easily repaired.

Twiga’s range of Military Patrol Boats (MPBs) on offer can be used for fast boat attack, combat support, indirect fire, surveillance operations and interdiction at sea. They are available in lengths from 5.8 to 12.5 metres, narrow or wide beam, and can be fitted with weapon hardpoints to accommodate weapons from 7.62 mm machineguns to 20 mm cannons. The 850 Military Patrol Boat can also used for indirect fire by removing the rear seats and mounting 107 mm rocket and light mortar systems.

Twiga’s boat range includes the following:

580 Utility boat, with a total payload of 1 000 kg and suitable for general work and rescue support operations;

1100 Low Draft boat, with a payload of 1,100 excluding fuel, water, engines and crew of two (draft is .33 metres with full payload and a maximum speed is 25 knots);

1140 Logistics Combat Support boat, with a payload of 3 600 kg excluding crew, water and fuel (draft with full payload is .7 metres and maximum speed is 35 knots);

720 Centre point Lift boat;

650 Centre point Lift boat;

Fast Attack boat, designed to achieve 60 knots for fast pursuit operations;

850 narrow beam patrol boat range, available in Gun and Logistics forms;

1050 wide beam range, designed to meet a number of requirements such as support for water operations, troop carrier, command boat and general rescue boat.

These boats have been exported – for example, in June 2018 the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) took into service four 850 Military Patrol Boats under a contract by Impala Services and Logistics Limited of Uganda. The UPDF subsequently took into service the 1050 Command boat, with an air-conditioned and ballistically protected cabin, and additional 850 Gun boats.