Mozambique Navy: all you need to know

Mozambique Navy is small, and like all other navies in the Southern African region except South Africa itself, the navy is largely ineffective in carrying out its duties.

Mozambique Navy is the third arm of the Mozambique Armed Defense Forces or FADM (Portuguese: Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique). And as of 2004, only 2000 personnel are in Mozambique Navy.

Mozambique Navy: operational challenges

Mozambique Navy operates mainly small boats for patrolling the Mozambican Channel – a key transit route for maritime traffic towards the Indian Ocean.

Even though the Mozambique Channel is a strategic junction as it is an important transit route for international oil shipping and maritime traffic, and could become more important if Mozambique completes the development of its major offshore gas and energy projects particularly in Cabi Delgado. However, Mozambique Navy maritime security capacity is severely limited especially now that the Islamist militant insurgency in Mozambique has gathered steam.

Although the primary security concern is the threat to the development of offshore gas and energy projects however, Low-level maritime security challenges still exists even prior to the insurgency. Maritime vices like drug trafficking, piracy are now being used to finance the insurgency.

For more than a decade, maritime crimes have been a major source of worry not only in Mozambique but in the Southern African region.

Mozambique Navy ships

Mozambique Navy currently operates mostly small patrol crafts of just 14 vessels.

On September 5, 2013, Mozambique Navy ordered three Ocean Eagle 43 trimaran patrol boats, three HSI 32 interceptors, and 18 fishing vessels from Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) in a 200 million euro deal over two years. Mozambique paid for the boats from loans from Credit Suisse and VTB Capital.

In January 2015, Mozambique ordered three more HSI32 interceptor boats.

Mozambique Navy HSI32 High-Speed Interceptor boats

The HSI 32 is a fast interceptor vessel built by French shipyard CMN, a part of Privinvest Shipbuilding Group. The vessel is designed to conduct search and rescue (SAR), maritime security, sea policing, anti-piracy, protection of offshore installations, and control of illegal immigration, trafficking, and smuggling.

It is manned by a crew of 12 sailors and can be armed with a remotely operated 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machine guns.

The HSI 32 is a fast interceptor vessel that can reach speeds of up to 45 knots, a range of 800 miles, and can patrol for three days. An RHIB can be launched from the back of the boat.

Insurgents sunk a French-made HSI32 High-Speed Interceptor boat during the fight for Mocímboa da Praia in August.

Mozambique Navy Ocean Eagle 43 trimaran patrol boats

The Ocean Eagle 43 patrol boat features a distinctive and innovative trimaran design ideal for shallow waters. The three boats were acquired as part of the CMN deal and are based at Pemba.

The patrol boat has a top speed of 30 knots and a range of 3,000 miles at 20 knots. It is crewed by seven personnel and can accommodate another eight people.

A damaged Mozambiccan Navy Ocean Eagle 43 patrol boat.

The Ocean Eagle 43 patrol boat can be armed with either a 20 or 30 mm cannon above the bridge and two 12.7 mm machine guns at the stern.

A 7-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) can be launched from a ramp at the back of the vessel, and a small helipad can accommodate single-rotor VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Ocean Eagle 43 trimaran patrol boats specifications

Length Overall : 43.6 m
Beam Overall : 15.7 m
Maximum draught : 1.6 m
Maximum speed : 30 Knots
Range at 18 Kts : 3,000 Nautical Miles
Range at 12 Kts : 5,000 Nautical Miles
Crew : 13 persons
Fuel : 21 m3
Fresh water : 2.0 m3
Hull & Superstructure : Composite Materials
Armanent: Machine guns.

Mozambique Navy Namacurra class harbour boats

Two Namacurra class harbour boats were transferred to Mozambique in September 2004.

South Africa donated two Namacurra class harbour patrol boats to the Mozambique Navy. The Namacurra class harbour boats is an Inshore Patrol vessel built by Tornado Products and Stellenbosch.

The type displaces around 4 tons with a length of 9.5 meters and speed of 32 knots. It is crewed by five sailors and is armed with 12.7mm Browning Machine Gun and 2×7.62mm LMG.

Mozambique Navy MNS Pebane P001 (Conejera class patrol craft)

In 2012, Spain donated to the Mozambique Navy a 85 tons, 32 meters Conejera class patrol craft after refit for a symbolic price (€100). MNS Pebane (P001) formerly P-32 Dragonera was laid down in 1981.

In 2012, Navantia, along with technical support and consulting company Isdefe, signed a contract to upgrade the vessel in order to extend its operational life.

Mozambique Navy MNS Pebane P001 (Conejera class patrol craft)

The vessel has a speed of 25 knots, and a range of 1,200 miles at 15 knots. The total crew is 12.

They are armed with a 20 mm Oerlikon Mk 10 cannon and two 7.62 mm machineguns.

MNS Pebane (P001) currently operates from Maputo.

Conejera class patrol craft (MNS Pebane) specifications

  • Displacement: 85 tonnes
  • Length: 32.2 m.
  • Beam: 5.6
  • Draft: 1.4
  • Speed: 25 knots (max)
  • Range: 1,200 miles at 15 knots
  • Crew: 12

Mozambique Navy Larsen & Toubro (L&T) class Fast interceptor boats (named Namiliti and Umbeluzi)

India handed over two Larsen & Toubro (L&T) fast interceptor boats to Mozambique as part of an agreement to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.

The Larsen & Toubro (L&T) class Fast interceptor boats are intended for patrol and rescue operations in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Mozambique Navy Larsen & Toubro (L&T) class Fast interceptor boats (named Namiliti and Umbeluzi)

As part of the delivery, a four-member Indian Coast Guard team will be stationed to assist with training, support for maintenance, and operation of the two boats.

The vessel is crewed by one officer and eleven personnel and is designed to perform coastal surveillance, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations.

The Larsen & Toubro (L&T) class Fast interceptor boats are 30 metres long with 90 tonnes displacement and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots.

Built completely with aluminum-alloy hull for reduced weight, the type is powered by twin water-jet propulsion systems for improved maneuvering.

The L&T boats are powered by two Caterpillar Marine Power Systems 3516C marine propulsion engines delivering 2525 bkW, and two 86 eKW C-4.4 auxiliary generator sets.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) class Fast interceptor boats specifications

Displacement: 90 tonnes
Length: 30 m
Beam: 6.4m
Speed: 45 knots
Range: 500 nautical miles
Endurance: 24hr
Complement: 1 officer and 11 men
Armament: 1 x Heavy Machine gun

Mozambique Navy DV-15 fast interceptor boats

The DV-15 is a high-performance ultra-high speed interceptor designed by French shipyard CMN, a part of Privinvest Shipbuilding Group.

The type can undertake missions like Sea policing and maritime security and to Fight against piracy, trafficking, smuggling and illegal immigration.

Mozambique Navy DV-15 fast interceptor boats

Mozambique Navy likely acquired 20 units and it appears that most of them are kept in storage.

DV-15 fast interceptor boats specifications

  • Length Overall : 15.50 m
  • Beam Overall : 3.00 m
  • Maximum speed : 50 Knots +
  • Range at 40 Knots : 350 NM
  • Crew : 4
  • Armament: One remote-controlled gun system (up to 30 mm)
  • One 7.62 mm manual gun

Mozambique Navy WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft

The WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft is the fastest naval vessel in the world, and is built by Abu Dhabi’s Privinvest MAR which has links to CMN.

The vessel can be armed with pop-up remote weapons station, and missiles. It’s exceptionally fast speed can come in handy when conducting it’s various missions like surface warfare, intelligence gathering, and special operations.

WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft

WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft specifications

Lengh: 18.6m (15.4m waterline)
Beam: 3.5m
Draft: 0.8m (half-load)
Weight: 13 ton (light ship)
Fuel capacity: 3,200L
Range: 400nm @ 47kt
Speed: 65kt+
Crew: 3

List of Mozambique Navy ships

  1. PCI-class inshore patrol boat (3 ordered, non-operational)
  2. HSI32 High-Speed Interceptor boats
  3. Ocean Eagle 43 trimaran patrol boats
  4. Conejera class patrol craft (MNS Pebane)
  5. L&T class Fast interceptor boats (Namiliti and Umbeluzi)
  6. Namacurra class harbour boats
  7. DV-15 fast interceptor boats
  8. WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft
  9. Rodman RHIBs

Mozambique Navy Base

  1. Maputo naval base: operates 5 x DV-15 interceptors, 2 x L&T interceptors, and 3 x WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft.
  2. Maputo Estrala: is the home of MNS Pebane patrol boat.
  3. Pemba naval base: is the home of three Ocean Eagle 43 patrol boats, two HSI-32 interceptors, and up to 20 DV-15 interceptors.
  4. Mocimboa da Praia: house and operate two DV-15 interceptors and an HSI-32 interceptor.
  5. Ibo: houses one DV-15 interceptor unit.

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