At this stage it appears African representation at the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) international fleet review will be confined to Nigeria.
The country has confirmed the vessel NNS Thunder, a former US Coast Guard cutter, will be taking part in the October review to commemorate the centenary of the first entry of a RAN ship into Sydney.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has given permission for the ship to represent the country at the review.
NNS Thunder is scheduled to steam out of Calabar on August 2 and return to her home port on December 18. She will make outbound port calls at Luanda, Cape Town, Port Louis and Freemantle en route to Sydney for the review.
Her transit home following the event, which will be attended by at least 20 navies, will see NNS Thunder call on Melbourne, Albany, Port des Galet, Durban, Walvis Bay and Pointe Noire before coming alongside in Calabar after a more than four month long voyage.
The SA Navy has indicated it will not attend the single largest naval event of the year due to “other prior commitments”.
Among navies that have already accepted invitations to the RAN international fleet review are Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, People’s Liberation Army Navy, French Navy, Indian Navy, Indonesian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, Federated States of Micronesia Maritime Police Unit, Royal New Zealand Navy, Papua New Guinea Defence Force – Maritime Operations Element, Republic of Singapore Navy, Spanish Navy, Republic of Korea Navy, Royal Thai Navy, Russian Navy, Tongan Defence Services – Maritime Force, the Royal Navy and the US Navy.
Host country Australia will have 19 of its warships in the review lead by HMAS Sydney, one of four guided missile frigates in its fleet. Other RAN maritime assets in the review include fisheries protection vessels, amphibious heavy lifters, submarines, Anzac Class frigates, a Bay Class landing ship dock, minehunters, heavy landing craft and survey and hydrographic vessels.