SAS Makhanda a Warrior-class strike craft is now in Mozambican waters as part of the maritime contingent of the Southern African Development Community’s intervention brigade, known as the SADC Mission in Mozambique or SAMIM.
The strike craft will conduct patrols and ensure that the Mozambican waters will be free off pirates and insurgents. South African Naval power contingent will comprise of two Warrior-class strike craft operated by 260 personnel (180 per vessels) as well as their embarked helicopters and a small RHIB boat to transport seaborne commandos to board suspect vessels.
According to the SADC Technical Assessment report that was done ahead of the Mozambique mission, an unmanned aerial vehicle, a maritime surveillance aircraft and one submarine will be also deployed to support the naval contingent.
Specifically, the naval assets will conduct “targetted operations, and eliminate maritime crimes in the area of operations.”
The Warrior-class strike craft are armed with one OTO Melara 76 mm naval artillery gun, as well as a pair of 20 mm guns and a pair of 12.7 mm heavy machine guns.
Overall, South Africa will send 1,495 troops to Mozambique to help its neighbour stem the jihadists onslaught in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province north of the country.
South Africa’s three-month deployment from July 15 to October 15 will be a part of a growing multinational force.
Since 2017, jihadists have been carrying out bloody insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region, and has killed more than 3,100 people, and displaced more than 800,000 people according to conflict data tracker ACLED.
South African navy’s Warrior-class vessels will likely come in contact with heavily armed insurgents in the coastline. In August last year, Terrorists sank a French-made HSI32 Interceptor boats.
The HSI32 Interceptor boat was attacked with rocket propelled grenades when it was defending the MdP port.