The Cape Verde Coast Guard has commissioned a new 51 metre long Stan Patrol SPA 5009 patrol vessel built by the Damen shipyard.
The vessel, based on Damen’s Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 5009, was commissioned on January 7. It features a single ‘Axe Bow’ which delivers high speeds with low fuel consumption. More than 60 Damen Sea Axe vessels have already been delivered as Crew Boats and Fast Crew Suppliers but the Cape Verde craft is the first Offshore Patrol Vessel version.
Damen says its Stan Patrol vessel is fully equipped for patrol duties in harbours, coastal waters and offshore. The 5009 can carry 24 persons and has four engines (with four propellers), with a total power of 4 324 bkW, for a speed of 23 to 35 knots.
The Stan patrol 5009 vessel uses Damen’s innovative Sea Axe concept, which was developed by a team combining Damen Shipyards, Delft Technical University, the US Coast Guard, the Royal Netherlands Navy, and Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN). Rather than bouncing over waves, the Sea Axe design cuts through them, limiting speed degradation due to wind and waves.
The very deep and high straight bow gives the axe bow hulls a very soft suspension and reduced drag, resulting in an 18% reduction in fuel bill compared to conventional high speed designs.
According to the IISS’s The Military Balance 2011, the Cape Verde Coast Guard has three patrol and coastal combatant vessels in service, including the 360 ton Kondor I patrol craft commissioned in 1970, the 51 foot Espadarte and the Tainha. The archipelago of nine inhabited islands has no navy.
The commissioning of the Stan Patrol 5009 comes at a time when navies in West Africa are building up their forces as pirates move into the area. The Gulf of Guinea has seen a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on ships this year – Benin saw around 20 incidents last year, compared to none in 2009 and London’s maritime insurance market recently added Benin to a list of areas deemed high risk for ships.
Other maritime problems include piracy and drug trafficking. The United Nations estimates that US$1 billion worth of cocaine, destined for Europe from Latin America, passed through West Africa in 2008.
In February last year Israel Shipyard Ltd (ISL) delivered two 62 metre offshore patrol vessels, Kie-Ntem and Litoral, to Equatorial Guinea’s small navy while in October Ghana’s navy took delivery of four new Chinese-built patrol ships for combating piracy and increasing maritime security in its territorial waters.
In July 2010 Jane’s reported that Ghana’s navy plans to acquire ten new vessels over the next two years and in January last year it commissioned a refurbished Sea Dolphin-class fast-attack craft donated by South Korea.
Over the last four years Ghana has received a dozen new boats, most from the US government. Meanwhile, late last year the Nigerian Navy received the former US Coast Guard Cutter Chase (WHEC-718). The Hamilton class was renamed NNS Thunder. Nigeria’s Navy is seeking government approval to acquire up to 49 ships and 42 helicopters over the next ten years to police the nation’s territorial waterways and Gulf of Guinea. It has already acquired dozens of small boats for such duties.