In a month’s time German warships will steam into Simon’s Town ahead of this year’s Exercise Good Hope, the joint German/South African military exercise now in its sixth iteration.
Major representation, platform and personnel-wise, from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will be contributed by the SA Navy during the period March 2 to 27, the scheduled departure date for the German naval contingent.
One, as yet unnamed, Valour Class frigate will be the Navy’s flagship for the exercise. It will carry a Super Lynx maritime helicopter for the duration of the exercise, about which final details have yet to be released. A Type 209 Heroine Class submarine, name not yet known, and one of the revamped strikecraft now serving as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) complete the South Arican naval platforms for the exercise. In addition to crews, the Navy will also deploy a Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) team for the exercise.
The airborne arm of the SANDF has committed a 35 Squadron C-47TP maritime surveillance aircraft, an embarked Super Lynx (22 Squadron), a pair of Oryx medium transport helicopters (also from 22 Squadron) and “two fighter jets” for the exercise.
There was no indication at the time of publication whether it would be either Gripen or Hawk taking part. Last year’s Ibsamar exercise saw similar information provided with Hawk Lead-In-Fighter Trainers being utilised.
An SA Army Special Forces team will support the Navy MRS team while the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) will provide medical task teams in addition to medical personnel aboard the various Navy platforms.
The German maritime component for Exercise Good Hope Six is expected to be at least three frigates strong with a supply ship and an as yet unspecified aerial component.
The aim of Good Hope is to strengthen military, particularly maritime, co-operation between the two countries via the sharing of maritime expertise.
The last exercise staged in 2012 saw the SA Navy put two of its Valour Class frigates – SAS Amatola and SAS Isandlwana – to sea along with the submarine SAS Queen Modjadji.