Navy will spend quarter of its budget on combat capability
The single largest allocation of funds to the maritime arm of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) – at just over a quarter of the total budget of R4.355 billion – goes to the SA Navy combat capability. This is made up of the four Valour Class frigates, three Heroine Class submarines, a mine counter-measures squadron and three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) supported by four Super Lynx maritime helicopters, operated by the SA Air Force’s (SAAF’s) 22 Squadron. As far as its objectives are concerned the SA Navy will defend and protect South Africa and its maritime zones providing, among others two OPVs and three inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) in each operational cycle. Armscor has issued tenders for the acquisition of three of each class of vessels with tender results probably going to be announced later this year. Indications are the final delivery of the new vessels will be around 2023. This sees the SA Navy fulfilling its objectives for the foreseeable future with three OPVs. These are former Warrior Class strikecraft that have been converted to patrol vessels. Maritime logistic support comprises just on 30% of the maritime budget with base support coming in at 17.7% and human resources and training accounting for 11.9%.