Guide to the Mozambique Navy

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Mozambique has one of the most impressive fleets of any small navy – on paper anyway. It is equipped with futuristic trimaran offshore patrol boats, robust interceptors and one of the world’s fastest military boats, but few are operational.

The Mozambican Navy’s most significant recent acquisition was for boats built by French-based shipyard CMN (Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie). The company is owned by UAE based Privinvest. As reported at the time, the 200 million Euro deal included six patrol boats as well as 24 fishing vessels. In addition, a number of high-performance interceptor boats were also supplied. Unfortunately, Mozambique could not afford the craft and the deal became an economic scandal locally. Consequently the vessels are mostly unused. And those that are active may have only limited operational readiness.

Also in recent years the Spanish Navy has donated a single patrol boat, MNS Pabane, and India has supplied two L&T class interceptor boats.

Ocean Eagle 43

An Ocean Eagle patrol vessel for Mozambique.

A distinctive trimaran vessel, the Ocean Eagle 43 is an ocean-going patrol vessel. Despite its small size, its range and seakeeping greatly increase the reach of the Mozambique Navy. Three were acquired as part of the CMN deal. Today all three are based at Pemba.

On 13 August 2020, terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State attacked the naval station at Mocimboa da Praia. The HSI-32 interceptor based there was apparently hit by rocket propelled grenades while engaging the attackers. It was reportedly sunk but this is not confirmed. Two or more DV-15s may also have been present so identification is uncertain.

Length Overall: 43.6 m
Beam Overall: 15.7 m
Maximum draught: 1.6 m
Maximum speed: 30 Knots
Range at 18 Kts: 3,000 Nautical Miles
Range at 12 Kts: 5,000 Nautical Miles
Crew: 13 persons
Fuel: 21 m3
Fresh water: 2.0 m3
Hull & Superstructure : Composite Materials
Armament: Machine guns. Anti-aircraft gun (type Tbc) seen on helideck in improvised position.

WP-18

With its sleek wave-piercing hull and stealthy lines, the blisteringly quick WP-18 is one of the fastest naval vessel in the world. Its ‘Tactical Strike Craft’ role would see it interdicting illegal vessels. Its high speed allows it to react quickly to developing circumstances. Inside the fully-enclosed composite exterior is a highly automated cockpit, meaning minimal crewing. The trade-off is that it cannot be used for baording and utility tasks.

The WP-18 is built by Abu Dhabi MAR which is connected to CMN via the owners, Privinvest. This likely explains why the WP-18 (and DV-15, see below) was not reported when the CMN deal was struck. They were delivered in late 2014/early 2015.

The vessels were moved to a new facility in Maputo in 2017 but have been in open storage in the yard since. They do not appear to have been in the water and should be regarded as inactive.

Length: 18.6 m (15.4 m waterline)
Beam: 3.5 m
Draft: 0.8 m (half-load)
Weight: 13 tons
Fuel capacity: 3,200L
Range: 400nm @ 47 knots
Speed: 65 knots+
Crew: 3

HSI-32

A Mozambican HSI 32 interceptor.

Built by CMN, the HSI-32 complements the Ocean Eagle 43 in the offshore role. It has a relatively long endurance, making it more suitable for longer patrols than most interceptors. It retains the interceptor speed that characterizes many CMN designs.

It is relatively large for an interceptor, which allows it to carry an inflatable boat or small RIB for baording operations (or conceivably special forces missions). The larger size and crew makes longer range missions quite viable.

Although more were planned, only three were delivered to Mozambique, and one of those may have been lost.

The HSI-32 is also operated by the Royal Saudi Navy and Angolan Navy. The Saudi boats differ in having a remote weapons station of the deck, which necessitates a superstructure redesign.

Length: 32.2 m
Beam: 7.0 m
Maximum draught: 1.8 m
Maximum speed: 48 Knots
Range at 12 Knots: 1,200 Nautical Miles
Range at 33 Knots: 650 Nautical Miles
Crew: 12
Fuel: 25 m3
Fresh water: 3 m3
Hull & Superstructure : Aluminium
Armament: Machine guns. Remote Weapons Station possible but not fitted to Mozambique vessels.

DV-15

A DV-15 interceptor.

The smaller inshore complement to the Ocean Eagle 43 and HSI-32 designs, the DV-15 is a fast general purpose interceptor. Over 20 appear to have been purchased and they are generally in use. Some may be in reserve, which makes sense with these types of craft.

Six more DV-15s appear to have been caught up in the aftermath of the CMN deal and never been fully delivered.

Length: 15.5 m
Beam Overall: 3 m
Maximum speed: 50 Knots +
Range at 40 Knots: 350 NM
Crew : 4
Fuel: 2.2 m3
Hull & Superstructure : Composite
Weapons: Light weapons. Remote weapons station (RWS) possible but not observed on Mozambique’s vessels.

L&T class fast interceptor craft

The handover of a fast interceptor vessel to the Mozambican Navy.

India donated two interceptor craft to Mozambique in July 2019. The L&T Class boats are essentially similar to those in service with the Indian Coast Guard and have a coast guard style paint scheme.

As part of the deal, a four-person Indian Coast Guard team was stationed in Mozambique (likely Maputo). They were there to assist with training, maintenance and operations.

Displacement: 90 tonnes
Length: 30 m
Beam: 6.4 m
Speed: 45 knots
Range: 500 nautical miles
Endurance: 24 hr
Complement: 1 officer and 11 men
Armament: 1 x Heavy Machine gun (model TBC but appears present on Mozambique examples)

P-001 ‘Pebane’

An ex-Spanish Navy Conejera class patrol boat, formerly P-32 Dragonera, transferred to Mozambique in 2013 at a nominal price. The vessel is based in Maputo but at a different base to the newer interceptors. It does not appear to be very active (if at all).

Displacement: 85 tonnes
Length: 32.2 m
Beam: 5.6 m
Draft: 1.4 m
Speed: 25 knots (max)

Other

A number of foreign contractors are supporting Mozambique with maritime security. One deal which has made the news was Spanish-based Pescanova who supplied a number of RIBs. The 12-meter boats, from Rodman, are used to counter pirate (and presumably insurgents).

Bases

Maputo: -25.976968°, 32.569706°. 5 x DV-15 interceptors (some active). 2 x L&T interceptors (active). 3 x WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft (inactive).

Maputo (nr Estrala): -25.974593°, 32.554981°. MNS Pebane patrol boat (may be active).

Pemba: -12.967013°, 40.485147°. 3 x Ocean Eagle 43 OPVs (some active). 2 x HSI-32 interceptors (may be active). ~17 DV-15 interceptors (some active).

Mocimboa da Praia: -11.336563°, 40.361857°. 2 x DV-15 interceptor (active). Formerly 1 x HSI-32 interceptor (Damaged or destroyed)

Ibo: -12.345542°, 40.580928°. 1 x DV-15 interceptor observed on occasion

Written by HI Sutton and republished with permission from Covert Shores. The original article can be found here.