President commissions navy patrol vessels
03 November 2017 | Ministries
The Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, hailed the commissioning of two Chinese provided Submarine Chasers to the Namibian Navy - an important moment in the history and relationship between the two countries and its armies.
President Hage Geingob, the Commander in Chief of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), commissioned the two patrol vessels, Dâures and Brukkaros, in Walvis Bay on Friday.
The Chinese Navy donated the offshore patrol ships to the Namibian Navy through ongoing cooperation agreements between the two governments.
Ambassador Zhang explained that the hulls of the two patrol boats were donated by the Chinese government and are refitted by Poly Technologies to give them modern combat capabilities.
“I believe the two boats can be effectively utilised by the Namibian Navy to safeguard Namibia’s marine sovereignty and interests.”
He added that the construction of the China-aided Namibia Command and Staff College has been completed and the college will be handed over to the Namibian navy shortly.
The ambassador further pointed out that most equipment of the Namibian Navy and Air Force comes from China.
China’s People’s Liberation Army offered to donate two Submarine Chasers with surface and under surface target attacking capability to the NDF in 2014. Delivery of the ships subsequently took place in August 2017.
Rear Admiral Sinsy Ndeshi Bamba Ngipandwa, the commander of the Namibian Navy, provided a synopsis of the process involved in preparing the two warships (Project SC12&13) and explained that the Namibian Navy and a Chinese company, Poly Technologies, embarked upon a scheduled programme consisting of three phases.
The first phase involved the refurbishment of the hull which was completed on 26 May. The second phase focused on the training of receiving crew and the third phase involved the delivery of the vessels to Namibia.
The project was launched at the naval shipyard in Guangzhou, Vhina on 6 November 2016. This was followed by two months in-classroom theoretical and practical workshop training for 57 crew trainees on 12 March. A one month training course for three divers and ten days tracking device training for four operators was completed on 19 May and culminated in the graduation of all the crew members.
The harbour and sea acceptance trial designed to assesses the seaworthiness of the vessels required by SOLAS and the Chinese warships standards were successfully completed on 16 May at Guangzhou.
The delivery of the two warships with its accessories and spares was done with a heavy lift vessel which commenced on a 27 day journey on 10 June from Guangzhou to the port of Walvis Bay. Resetting and testing started on 28 August due to the delayed arrival of Chinese experts. This was followed by the final Harbour Acceptance Tests (HAT) and Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) which included the testing of weapons with live firing. Phase three was completed on 26 September.