More details have emerged on the South African Navy’s new 12 metre riverine patrol boats, which were displayed at the recent Rand Show.
The South African Navy has acquired three vessels, which are still in trials, according to military analyst Darren Olivier from African Defence Review, who adds that the new riverine patrol boats have replaced the Project Xena riverine patrol boats for the Maritime Reaction Squadron.
According to a manufacturer’s plate on the boat displayed at the Rand Show, it was manufactured on 8 January 2016 by Marine & General Engineering of Durban although it was designed by local company KND Naval Design.
The boats are powered by two 450 hp MarineDiesel VGT-series engines from Sweden driving Castoldi water jets (which appear to be Turbodrive 284s). The engines have a useful life of 10 years or 10 000 hours, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and give a top speed of 40-45 knots.
The boats can be equipped with a single 12.7 mm machinegun and two SS77 7.62 mm machineguns and have seating for 12 passengers. Marine electronics are provided mainly by Japanese company Furuno and include a Furuno GPS and ship radar, a Hytera MD785G radio, an Icom IC-M604A marine VHF radio, and a Vartech Systems LCD information computer and display, but these may not represent the final fit once the boats are accepted into full service after the trial phase, Olivier notes.
The new riverine patrol boats first emerged during the Armed Forces Day parade in Durban on 21 February this year, when a single example was displayed.
Also shown at the Armed Forces Day parade was a Namacurra harbour patrol boat and a Nautic Africa boarding boat – five of these boarding craft were recently by the company in 2016.
A variety of small boats are being acquired for the South African Navy under Project Carol, including boarding boats, diving boats, riverine patrol boats, ship sea boats, ferries, sailing dinghies, an ocean racing yacht and associated trailers.