To better carry out its maritime duties, the Senegalese Navy has taken delivery of an RPB 33 patrol boat “Taouay” from French UFast shipbuilding.
Taouay was commissioned in 30 March at Quimper, Brittany, and was acquired by Senegal’s High Authority for Maritime Security, Maritime Safety and Marine Environment (HASSMAR) for enhanced maritime surveillance around Senegal’s waters.
The vessel, 33.73-meters in lenght, 6.5-meter in width is powered by two 1 100 hp MAN engines, giving a top speed of 22 knots and a range of 1 500 miles at 15 knots. The hull made from composite with aluminium superstructure were designed by Camarc Design, a small craft design company based in the UK.
Taouay can stay at sea for a week without refuelling, it is optimized for surveillance and designed with s 360 degree bridge for this purpose.
The contract for two RPB 33 patrol vessels was signed in 2018 with UFAST Shipyard, a partner of Raidco.
Senegal’s first RPB 33 Ferlo, was delivered in September 2013, three West African countries Senegal, Togo and Ivory Coast currently operates the type.
Abdou Sene, Secretary General of HASSMAR noted that “the acquisition of this patrol vessel, which will strengthen my country’s naval fleet, attests to the firm political will of the President of the Republic of Senegal to make maritime areas under national jurisdiction safe and conducive to the development of a true blue economy sustainable, especially in a context of progressive maritimization of our national economy. Indeed, in a few years, we will certainly witness a gradual shift in the centre of gravity of our economy from the continent to the sea. We must therefore prepare for it and, consequently, to support this development, Senegal has undertaken to modernize and develop its naval forces. And the French shipyards played an important part in it, in particular that of Quimper.”
In terms of armament, a 20mm cannon can be fitted on the fore deck, as well as two 12.7mm machine guns for defence against lightly armoured targets.
The RPB 33 comes equipped with equipped with a high-definition marine radar, antenna mast, and searchlights atop of the surveillance bridge. The advanced communications, navigational and identification aids provide safe operation at sea.
Those latest acquisition is part of Senegal’s outlined fleet recapitalization plan as a resulting from increased maritime security challenges across Africa.
Last year, Senegal received the last two of four Shaldag fast patrol boats ordered from Israel Shipyards.
The two Shaldag boats – a Shaldag Mk II (Cachouane) and a Shaldag Mk V (Lac Retba) were delivered to Senegal in November.