Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu will this weekend visit the replenishment ship SAS Drakensberg, currently off Argentina after participating in this year’s 8th edition of Exercise Atlasur.
Sisulu is in Latin America to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the Government of Argentina on defence and military development. “The cooperation will strengthen cooperation in the area of training, search and rescue operations in the Southern Atlantic Ocean,” her office said in a statement. “The two countries will also cooperate in the exchange of students, defence education and innovation with specific focus on defence science, technology and industrial development.
The signing will take place tomorrow on board the Drakensberg. Atlasur is a biannual, joint and combined, maritime exercise between South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The first such exercise was held in Argentinean waters in 1993 and it laid the foundation for combined doctrine. South Africa hosted the last edition, Atlasur VII in 2008 and Argentina this year’s from October 29 to November 10.
In addition to the Drakensberg, the Type 209 Heroine-class submarine SAS Charlotte Maxeke also took part in the exercise. After the exercise, the two vessels visited Montevideo, Uruguay. The Drakensberg then sailed to Buenos Aires to link up with Sisulu and South African ambassador Tony Leon, the former leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance.
Argentina deployed the destroyer ARA Almirante Brown, the corvettes ARA Espore and ARASpiro, the multipurpose vessel ARA Punta Alta, the ocean tug ARA Teniente Olivieri” and the Type 209 submarine (S-31) ARA “Salta” for he exercise. The Brazilian Navy deployed the Niteroi-class frigate BNS “Constitucao” and Uruguay, the Joao Belo-class frigate ROU Uruguay.
Pic: SAS Drakensberg in theArgentinean naval port, Puerto Belgrano, earlier this month.