The Mozambican government has signed a $200 million deal with French shipyard CMN to build three patrol vessels, three fast interceptors and 24 fishing trawlers. The contract represents a major boost to Mozambique’s small Navy.
Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) will spend two years building the vessels, which include three 32 metre and three 42 metre patrol vessels, according to MCN owner Iskandar Safa, who announced the deal at a press conference on Thursday.
The contract covers three Ocean Eagle 43 patrol vessels, featuring an innovative trimaran design ideal for shallow waters. The model has a top speed of 30 knots and a range of 3 000 miles at 20 knots. Crew complement is seven, but another eight people can be accommodated aboard. A small helipad can accommodate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) like the Schiebel Camcopter while a seven metre rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) can be launched from a ramp at the back of the vessel. Weapons options include a 20 or 30 mm cannon above the bridge and two 12.7 mm machineguns at the stern.
The HSI 32 interceptors are able to reach speeds of up to 45 knots and can undertake patrols for three days, with a range of 800 miles. Weapon options include a remotely operated 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machineguns. A 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.
The order for 24 trawlers involves the CMN 23.5 model, crewed by eight and having an endurance of ten days. Deliveries should take place by 2016.
The new vessels ordered from France will provide a major boost to Mozambique’s small navy, especially in light of 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.