Armscor has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) on behalf of the South African Navy for a new hydrographic survey ship and related equipment.
A notice on the Armscor website defines the requirement as “supply of a hydrographic capability product system for the SA Navy”.
The new vessel will replace the 43-year-old SAS Protea (pennant number A324) and the RfP is in line with statements made to defenceWeb earlier this year by Navy chief, Vice Admiral Mosuwa Hlongwane, shortly after he took over command of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) maritime arm of service.
“A replacement for Protea is opportune as we expect the new Hydrographic Bill to be enacted in the next Parliamentary session,” Hlongwane said, adding the new acquisition would play “a pivotal role” in South Africa’s international hydrographic responsibilities in the future.
He said progress on the Navy’s capital acquisition programme was “on track” for renewal of both offshore and hydrographic capabilities. Both were in the final acquisition study phases and once completed the Navy will have an indication of when delivery can be expected.
Shipbuilders interested in the RfP have to attend a compulsory bidders’ conference that will be held between September 3 and the same date in October this year.
While no further details for the Protea replacement have yet been made, available indications are it will have to carry a sea boat and have hangarage for a medium maritime helicopter. The RfP also makes provision for upgrading hydrographic office infrastructure ashore and an integrated logistic support package.
No delivery date is specified.
SAS Protea is currently commanded by Captain “Shoes” Msikinja and she will resume survey work in the Durban area, started late last year, following work-up training in False Bay.