First three HSI 32 interceptors on their way to Mozambique


French shipyard CMN is in the process of delivering the first three HSI 32 interceptors to Mozambique, with the vessels en route to southern Africa.

The first three interceptors were loaded onto the Dutch cargo ship Deltagracht on 9 January. The cargo vessel is due to arrive in Porto Amelia, Mozambique, on 1 February. Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) is scheduled to deliver another three interceptors in the middle of this year.

CMN provided training to 34 Mozambican sailors on the first three interceptors in October 2015 ahead of deliveries.

The first HSI 32 was launched at CMN’s facility in Cherbourg on 18 March last year. Mozambique ordered three of the interceptors in 2013 and another three in January 2015. The 5 September 2013 contract Mozambique signed with CMN was worth 200 million euros and covered three Ocean Eagle 43s, three HSI 32 interceptors and 24 fishing vessels.

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. During sea trials in April last year, the first HSI 32 reached a speed of 47 knots. The type is powered by three MTU Series 2000 engines and three MJP waterjets.

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. These vessels are ideal for anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling missions.

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.

CMN will in April this year deliver three Ocean Eagle 43 trimaran patrol vessels. The crews for these vessels will soon begin training in France. The first Ocean Eagle was launched on 22 January 2015.