The South African Navy (SAN) reported today that it would carry out a new counter-piracy mission, stating from December 27, and the leader boat would be the rocket and helicopter-carrier frigate SAS Spioenkop.
This ship returned yesterday from a six-week maneuver on the west coast of Africa, an operation carried out jointly with marines from Angola, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.
SAN spokespeople explained that the ship would be subject to a maintenance routine to depart again to the East at the end of the current year, in a three-month trip, with the objective of neutralizing pirates in the region.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, during the first three quarters of 2013, 40 pirate attacks have been recorded on the African coasts, especially in the area of the Gulf of Guinea, and 10 of them in waters near Somalia.
The report also regretted that due to problems of boat repairs or technological updating, the South African Navy has only fulfilled one fifth of the sailing hours planned fore this fiscal year.
With a $303-million-USD annual budget, the South African Navy is among the three most important in the continent.