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Future of the South African Navy looks bleak despite new ships entering service

29th November 2023 - 04:06 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland

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The IPVs are the result of project cutbacks and political disputes. They are unsuited to requirements and unwanted by the South African Navy. (Photo: Damen)

The commissioning of SAS King Shaka Zulu, a Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel, into the South African Navy masks serious problems for the service as fleet availability falls dangerously low and capability atrophies.

The delivery of new Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) to the South African Navy (SAN) and the commissioning of the second of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs), SAS King Shaka Zulu, on 29 October 2023 highlights some the problems the service faces. The SAN currently lacks direction with disagreements over future procurement priorities and use of scarce funds as South Africa’s defence budget continues its downward trend.

Damen Shipyards Cape Town is delivering the three MMIPVs, with the first-of-class SAS King Sekhukune handed over in June 2022. The third, to be named SAS Adam Kok, is likely to be delivered next year to complete

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Tim Fish

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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