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SA navy crews in ship shape

The navy is wasting no time to get its new platforms and their crews ready for maritime warfare.

Exercise Whippet saw the frigates SAS Spionkop and SAS Mendi perform a tactical firing of Exocet missiles at a derelict trawler in the Pandora exercise area, 50 nautical miles south of Cape Point.

The ships were about seven nautical miles abeam of each other when course was altered for the firing.

Both Exocet MM40 block-one missiles left the launchers to arrive on target within seconds of each other.

The trawler, about 25 nautical miles away, was broken in two and sank within minutes of being hit.

Post-exercise debriefing indicated both ships’ crews were competent with weapons and systems onboard the Valour class frigates.

A second exercise saw frigates and the recently commissioned Type 209 submarine SAS Manthathisi work together in a successful, combined anti-submarine warfare exercise that ran simultaneously with a submarine officer’s commanding course.

By Kim Helfrich The Citizen 12/07/07

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