Nato ships on the move round Africa

Aug 21, 2007
Author: P&S

Nigerian Navy ships en route to Brazil's Bi-Centennial Celebrations

The Portuguese naval frigate Alves Cabral (F331) arrived in the Angolan port of Lobito at the weekend to pay an official visit to Portugalís former colony.

Alves Cabral, which displaces 3,200 tonnes, is a Vasco da Gama class frigate of the Portuguese Navy, one of three German Meko 200 types built in the early 1990s. She is equipped with a helicopter and is taking part in the joint NATO exercise that sees six ships from the NATO force normally based in the Mediterranean which are on a circumnavigation of Africa.

Alves Cabral has a top speed of around 33 knots utilising her gas turbines or a more relaxed cruising speed of 18 knots when operating with twin diesels. She carries a crew of 182, although Angolan media are reporting that there are 196 on board at present.

From Lobito the frigate is expected to link with other units of the NATO force which are calling at the Cape to partake of exercises with the South African Navy, before proceeding up the East Coast for more exercises off Somalia and a visit to the Seychelles.

The Dutch Navy ship HRMS Evertsen (F805), which is also apart of the NATO task force is shown on our PORTS & SHIPS port lists as due in Cape Town harbour on Tuesday 28 August. Evertsen is one of the latest additions to the Dutch Navy, a De Zeven Provincien class command and air defence destroyer displacing 6,044 tonnes and having a top speed of about 30 knots.

Meanwhile two Nigerian Navy ships have left to take part in Brazilís Bi-Centennial Navy celebrations with calls at Monrovia and Dakar along the way. The two ships are the frigate NNS Aradu (F89) and the patrol vessel NNS Nwamba. NNS Aradu, a Meko 360 class frigate returned to service a few years ago in time to attend the Admiral Nelson fleet review in the UK during 2005. She is the flagship of the Nigerian Navy.

NNS Nwamba is an interesting acquisition to the Nigerian naval forces, being the former US Coast Guard cutter Firebush which was decommissioned in 2003 and handed over to Nigeria by US authorities later that year.

Prior to arrival in Rio de Janeiro the two ships will make a brief call at Recife.

Altogether ships of 45 other navies are expected to take part in the celebration, including one South African Navy ship, the frigate SAS Mendi.



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