@ South Africa and Nigeria have Sub-sahara Africa’s only blue water navies. Ship for ship, seaman for seaman, there is no professional navy on the continent that can match the size, training and sophistication of the Nigerian and South African navy.
DefenseNigeria examines compares the flagship of both navies; SAS Amatola and NNS Thunder using size, endurance, sophisticatiom and armament as metrics.
SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY
Active Duty : 8,000
Reserve : 1000
Active Duty : 16,000
Reserve : N/A
South African Navy Flagship : SAS Amatola
The ships of the Valour class are equipped with an assortment of multi-purpose weapons, each fulfilling a vital role in naval warfare including anti-surface, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare. The ships’ primary anti-surface armament is its MM40 Block 2 Exocet anti-ship missile launchers which give them an anti-ship capability with a range in excess of 72 kilometres (45 mi).
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Navy is planning to upgrade these missiles to Block 3 standard, giving them an effective range of 180 kilometres (110 mi).
For closer surface threats the ship can use its OTO Melara 76 mm main gun (range of 16–40 km, depending on the type of ammunition utilised). It is also equipped with a twin Denel 35mm Dual Purpose Gun, two Mk1 Oerlikon 20 mm cannons and two 12.7 mm Rogue remotely operated guns to engage surface targets accurately within a 4 km range.
Weaponry : Advantage South Africa.
Life aboard SAS Amatola
Nigerian Navy Flagship : NNS Thunder
Life aboard NNS Thunder.
Endurance : Advantage Nigeria
NNS Thunder is presently without a dedicated anti ship or air defence missile system. The ship was stripped of all Harpoon anti ship missiles when it was delivered by the U.S Navy, as a result ship relies on air defence and pretty much everything on two side mounted 76 “6 rapid gun turret, two MK 38 25 mm machine gun and one deck mounted 76 mm naval guns as its primary offensive armament.
AIRCRAFTMaritime patrol / reconnaissance aircraft are crucial for nations with long coastlines. The AtR-42 is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) with multimission capabilities.
The aircraft has a ferry range of 4,741km and can conduct non-stop patrols for up to 11 hours. It integrates Advanced Tactical Observation System (ATOS) mission management system.
The state-of-the-art mission system, along with onboard sensors, enables the aircraft to conduct a variety of missions, such as identification and tracking of vessels, maritime and coastal surveillance, SAR and pollution detection missions.
Its 11-hour fly-time and high ferry range of 4,741 km make it the top Maritime Patrol Aircraft in Africa.
Numbers ; Advantage Nigeria.
Endurance : Advantage Nigeria.
Armament : Advantage South Africa.
Sophisticated : Advantage South Africa.