Sources at last week’s 3rd Sea Power for Africa Symposium, attended by representatives of most of Africa’s navies and coastguards, say Angola is keen to purchase up to four corvettes and two patrol craft to recapitalise its navy and to gain a blue-water exclusive economic zone patrol capacity.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies in its authoritative Military Balance publication credits the Angolan Navy with seven inshore patrol craft and two harbour patrol boats.
The country has a 1600km coast rich in oil and fisheries resources.
French news agency AFP last month reported in the run up to a visit to Germany by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos that he would, while there, sign a US$800 million deal to buy three vessels.
AFP quoted the normally reliable Catholic Church broadcaster Radio Ecclesia as its source.
A subsequent report – in German – on Dos Santos meeting Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that the Bremen-based Lürssen Werft had made Angola an offer for corvettes and “patrol boats”.
No deal was however signed.
Lürssen Werft, who attended the Cape Town symposium, would not comment on the reports.
It is not clear what size the vessels might be or what armament and equipment may be fitted.
The Lürssen offer is said to include the training of naval personnel to operate the ships, as well as after sales spares and support.