CMN launches first Mozambican HSI 32 interceptor

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French shipyard Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) has launched the first of an initial batch of three HSI 32 interceptors destined for the Mozambican Navy.

The vessel was launched at CMN’s facility in Cherbourg on 18 March. The three vessels are scheduled to be delivered via ship in the coming months. In January Mozambique ordered another three of the type, which will be delivered from December 2015 at a rate of one every two months.

The HSI 32s have a length of 32.2 metres and a width of 6.4 metres. Crew complement is 12. The type is made from aluminium for light weight and agility. Sensor options can include a surveillance radar, electro-optical sensors and a satellite link for transferring images and other data.

The HSI32 interceptors are able to reach speeds of up to 43 knots and can undertake patrols for three days, with a range of 800 nautical miles at 12 knots or 580 nautical miles at 33 knots. Weapon options include a remotely operated 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machineguns. A 4.8 metre RHIB can be launched from the back of the boat. Crew complement is 12. These vessels are ideal for anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling missions.

On September 5, 2013, the Mozambican government signed a 200 million euro deal with CMN to build the three Ocean Eagle 43s, three HSI32 interceptors and 24 fishing vessels over a two year period. The first Ocean Eagle was launched on January 22 this year.

The first two CMN 23.5 trawlers were launched on March 25, 2014. This model has a length of 23.5 metres, a maximum speed of 10.5 knots and a range of ten days. It can hold 30 tons of loose fish. The first five have already been delivered after sea trials.

The new vessels ordered from France will provide a major boost to Mozambique’s navy, especially in light of the need to secure the country’s recent offshore oil and natural gas finds. At present the country’s small navy comprises a single Conejera class patrol craft (Pebane) donated by Spain, a couple of Namacurra class harbour patrol boats donated by South Africa and around ten small patrol craft, including RHIBs.