Publication: defenceWeb Issued: Date: 2011-03-04 Reporter: Leon Engelbrecht Reporter:

Naval acquisitions to start in 2013




Date 2011-03-04
Reporter Leon Engelbrecht
Web Link

The National Treasury will fund the acquisition of new ships for the South African Navy from the 2013/14 financial ycar. The parsimonious keeper of the national purse says in its Estimates of National Expenditure, released last month, pencilled in a 52.3% increase in the Maritime Combat Capability subprogramme for the year starting April 2013.

The budget boost will provide “for the replacement of the offshore and inshore patrol vessels [Project Biro], procurement of new harbour tugs and the replacement of small boats. This is also the reason for the increase of 73.9% in “transfers and subsidies” in 2013/14.” The latter will spike from R406.5 million in the April 2011 year to R603.7 million in April 2013 and the former to R803.9 million from R570.9 million.

Overall, naval expenditure is has decreased from R2.4 billion in 2007/08 to R2.3 billion in 2010/11, due to the commissioning of the Valour-class frigates and Heroine-class submarines between 2006 and 2009. Because of Biro expenditure is expected to increase to R2.919 billion over the medium term, at an average annual rate of 7.4%. Defence and Military Veterans minister Lindiwe Sisulu last week said “we discussed it [Biro] sometime last year and shelved it because it was not such an immediate option for us. But we might be getting back to that depending on the outcome of the strategy that we will be presenting to Cabinet,” she said in reference to the body's directive to her ministry last month to develop a strategy to address the threat of piracy in Southern African waters.

“We would be considering re-energising Project Biro because as you well know some of our frigates are too big to move around the coast...”

The task of the navy is to defend and protect South Africa and its maritime zones by providing:

– a surface combat capability of four frigates, one combat support vessel, two offshore patrol vessels, three inshore patrol vessels and a maritime reaction squadron in each annual operational cycle– a sub-surface combat capability of two submarines in each annual operational cycle

– two mine countermeasures systems in each annual operational cycle to ensure safe access to South African harbours and where mine clearance may be required

– an ongoing hydrographic survey capability to ensure safe navigation in charting areas and to meet international obligations.

Per programme, Maritime Direction provides strategic direction by formulating and controlling strategies, policies, plans and advice to prepare and provide the maritime capabilities required to defend and protect South Africa. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 1166, and a total budget of R472.2 million, of which 87.1% will be used for compensation of employees. In 2010/11, the Chief of the Navy visited and hosted various international countries and guests.

The Maritime Combat Capability provides mission ready and supported maritime combat capabilities in line with the approved force design of the department. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 692, and a total budget of R570.9 million, of which 50.2% will be used for compensation of employees and 33.9% for capital acquisitions. In 2010/11, maritime security was provided for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and multinational exercises involving the navies of Brazil, India and South Africa were prepared and executed. 8286 sea hours for patrolling South African maritime zones were recorded in the first six months.

The Maritime Logistic Support Capability sustains the availability of the force structure elements in the naval force design to ensure compliance with ordered operational commitments. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 1762, and a total budget of R724.3 million, of which 25% will be used for repairs and maintenance of equipment, 16.9% for compensation of employees and 16% for a transfer to the Armaments Corporation of South Africa. In 2010/11, a clearly formulated user asset management plan will guide infrastructure development and renewal. The Maritime Human Resources and Training Capability ensures that maritime combat capability requirements are met in terms of qualified regular and reserve force members. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 2601, and a total budget of R240.6 million, of which 83.3% will be used for compensation of employees. In 2010/11, the subprogramme participated in the South African National Defence Force’s marketing and recruitment drive, during which 6 provinces were visited and 29 800 people were reached.

The Base Support Capability provides a general base support capability to ships and submarines, shore units, and other identified clients to ensure that the fleet complies with specified operational readiness levels. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 1324, and a total budget of R493 million, of which 84.4% will be used for compensation of employees.

With acknowledgements to Leon Engelbrecht and defenceWeb.

Parsimony - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parsimony is the use of the simplest or most frugal route of explanation available.

The word derives from Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimonia, ...

The current parsimony of the OPVs is in stark contrast to and required to offset the - take your pick - generous, lavish, extravagant, wasteful, open-handed, spendthrift, munificent - case of the frigates and submarines.

R2,9 billion for six OPVs vs R30 billion (2011 Rands) for four frigates and three submarines.

Of the three submarines, one is damaged beyond use.

Of the four frigates, two have damaged main engines, one has a damaged main derive shaft, all have severe galvanic corrosion.

adjective mean, stingy, penny-pinching (informal), miserly, near (informal), saving, sparing, grasping, miserable, stinting, frugal, niggardly, penurious, tightfisted, close-fisted, tight-arse (taboo slang), mingy (Brit. informal), tight-ass (U.S. taboo slang), tight-assed (U.S. taboo slang), cheeseparing, skinflinty, snoep (S. African informal), tight as a duck's arse (taboo slang) the stereotype of the dour and parsimonious Scotsman
generous, lavish, extravagant, wasteful, open-handed, spendthrift, munificent

Parsimony indeed.

Just a pity the frigates' hulls are not quite as tight as a duck's arse.