The Brazilian media reports that the country has delivered a new patrol vessel to the Namibian Navy, the lead ship of a class of five.
The Namibian Ship (NS) Brendan Simbwaye is 46.5 meters long, can reach a maximum speed of 26.5 knots, and will be used to patrol and monitor and monitor Namibia`s coastline.
The Brazilian Journal of Northeast via the Portuguese-language Naval.com.br website reports the ships, budgeted to cost US$24 million were ordered in 2004 and are part of a trade agreement between Brazil and Namibia.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies credits the Namibian Navy, created from the Namibian Defence Force`s Maritime Wing in 2004, with six patrol craft: three unspecified offshore vessels, one coastal “Oryx” class craft and two former SA Navy “Namacurra” class harbour patrol boats.
Brasilia-based News Source Info (NSI) via the defense-technologynews.blogspot reports the 200mt patrol craft was built by the Indústria Naval do Ceará (INACE) based in Fortaleza, with the project managed by EMGEPRON, a public company tied to the Brazilian Navy that guaranteed the ship`s quality as well as the armament installation. The company will also provide logistic support to the Namibian Navy, NSI reports.
The NSI adds the vessel was commissioned on 16 January at a ceremony held at the INACE shipyard in the presence of the defence ministers of Brazil and Namibia, the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade; the commanders of the Brazilian and Namibian navies; the governor of Cearà state and the Prefect of Fortaleza.
· Armament: 1X 40mm cannon, machine guns.
· Displacement: 197 tonnes empty, 217 tonnes loaded;
· Length: 46.5 meters, beam 7.5 meters and draught 2.3 meters;
· Propulsion: 2 MTU 16V 396 TB94 diesel engines rated at 2,740 bhp each, coupled to two shafts with fixed-pitch, three-bladed propellers.
· Fuel: 23 tonnes.
· Maximum speed: 26.5 knots; cruise speed: 22 knots.
· Range: 2200 nautical miles at 12 knots (10 days).
The Journal of Northeast further reports the ship represents the first export success for the yard and is the first warship built by a private contractor exported. INACE CE Elisa Gradvohl says a number of other African countries have expressed interest in similar vessels, notably Nigeria, whose ambassador has visited the yard.
Construction of the remaining four ships was scheduled for after delivery the lead ship.
Janes Sentinel last year reported Namibian Navy personnel have been receiving training abroad, notably in Brazil, “and Namibia has embarked on a programme to expand the small fleet.
“A number of new-build vessels are on order from Brazil and a naval base has been built at Walvis Bay.”
The authoritative British publication adds that the Namibian government intends its navy to be a military marine patrol force with the capacity to defend the southwest African state`s ‘s coast and economic zone from foreign aggression. It intends all its vessels to have both offshore patrol and combat capabilities and to train naval personnel accordingly.
“However, the navy is not well equipped for a military role and is likely to be deployed primarily in support of the civil power and in paramilitary roles. Fishery protection is the force’s primary role in association with the Ministry of Fisheries.
“The South African Navy carries out occasional patrols of Namibia’s fishing grounds and has arrested illegal trawlers on behalf of the Namibian government. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) patrol is also of prime concern to the navy and a long term objective is to ensure protection of offshore oil, gas and diamond mining infrastructure.
Janes further report that the Namibian Navy is tasked with “assisting civil forces to combat illegal immigration, smuggling of arms and drugs and threats to the environment, as well as conducting maritime surveillance and surveys of the coast.
“South Africa and Angola have provided search and rescue facilities along Namibia’s coastline in the past but it is intended that Namibia will be able to exercise this function independently.
“Apart from the “Imperial Manheiro” class coastal patrol ship, only the Oryx is armed (one 12.7 mm machine gun) while the “Osprey” class Tobias Hainyeko has a helicopter deck.”