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Chinese destroyer HEFEI in Cape Town harbour, picture by Ian Shiffman, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hefei (DDG-174). Picture: Ian Shiffman

The Chinese Navy type 052D guided missile destroyer HEFEI (DDG-174) arrived in Cape Town together with two other ships (see PICS OF THE DAY below) for a short stopover while returning from the Baltic Sea and St Petersburg where they took part in a naval parade and sea exercise with ships of the Russian Navy. During this visit to the Baltic region the three ships attracted considerable interest from NATO forces which monitored their unusual presence. One of the three ships is a replenishment vessel, while the other two are part of China’s main strike force. Hefei, the third of 13 ships of this class, displaces 7,500 tons and has a complement of 280 crew. The ship is powered by twin diesel engines and twin gas turbines and has a reported speed of 31 knots. This picture is by Ian Shiffman

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MSC Bilbao (102,759-dwt, built 2006, 7928-TEU) at DCT's North Quay. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Bilbao (102,759-dwt, built 2006, 7928-TEU) at DCT’s North Quay. Picture: Terry Hutson

Ongoing delays at the Port of Durban, brought about by inclement weather conditions but also delays in terminal operations, has seen at least one shipping company respond by announcing a general rates increase (RI) for all export cargo from Durban for the Far East and North India.

Other shipping lines are…[restrict] believed to be considering their options.

The delays are being reported as between five and seven days, as South Africa’s peak container season advances.

Exacerbating the problem, seasonal high winds and heavy sea swells have resulted in the port having to close for lengthy periods either at night or during the day. August to October are usually windy months along the KZN coast and Durban is seasonably affected, especially when the winds coincide with high sea swells.

The GRI introduced by MSC on export containers from Durban to the Far East and North India amount to US$100 per TEU, with effect from 15 September SOB (shipped on board).


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artistic impression of Coral South floating processing plant, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
artistic impression of Coral South floating processing plant

Mozambique expects to raise US$16 billion in revenues from the South Coral liquefied natural gas project in the province of Cabo Delgado, says a report in the Portuguese language newspaper, Notícias

Fábio Castiglioni, director general of the Italian oil company ENI, to which the government has granted rights to operate the project for the next 30 years, told Notícias that this amount would result from the payment of taxes and royalties on gas belonging to Mozambique.

Speaking at the…[restrict] Maputo International Fair, Castiglioni explained that the Rovuma Area Four project involved drilling six production wells connected to an underwater production system and a floating LNG platform with the capacity to produce more than 3.4 million tonnes of LNG per year.

The company has already signed agreements with 15 banks for the implementation of the project and, at the moment, has a considerable part of the necessary capital available.

“Drilling will start next year, and the company is currently in detailed engineering considerations. We expect the construction of the LNG platform to begin in 2018,” Castiglioni said.

The South Coral LNG project is a major asset for Mozambique and for the region, and will be the first floating liquefied natural gas platform to be built in Africa. The gas is to be sold in its entirety to the multinational BP, which in October last year signed a 20-year agreement with the Eni-led consortium.

The project’s development plan was approved last February by the government. Total investment is estimated at about $8 billion, of which Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) is expected to contribute about US$800 million to fund its 10 percent stake.

Castiglioni added that the project could create a total of 820 jobs, 90 percent of which would be filled by a national workforce who would receive professional training.

Rovuma Basin Area Four is operated by Eni with a 70 percent stake, while ENH, Galp Energia and Kogás each hold 10 percent. Source: Notícias[/restrict]


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Lebombo border crossing, Picture: Corridor Gazette, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lebombo border crossing.   Picture: Corridor Gazette

The Mozambique Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI), a non-profit organisation based in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province of South Africa, says in a communiqué that it worked very closely with SARS (SA Revenue Services) at head office and at Lebombo at last weekend to resolve the crisis at the Lebombo (Komatipoort) border between South Africa and Mozambique.

This was due to the closure of one of the exit lanes due to the refurbishment of the paving of the truck bypass.

“Our intervention resulted in SARS deploying additional IT and HR capacity to the border post to deal with the backlog, and operating hours were extended to clear the backlog. The entire situation drove home to all concerned how important it is for all stakeholders to communicate with each other in every aspect of corridor operations<” said the MCLI.

It said that the most important point made to its public sector partners was that this crisis would have been averted had the refurbishment plans been made available to MCLI before the closure of the lanes.

“The considerable losses to all sectors in the supply chain fall squarely within the ambit of very poor planning and a dire lack of communication with our organization, which has done nothing but support and work with these authorities for the past 14 years. Our thanks to SARS for taking rapid action to address the crisis.”

The MCLI said it has contacted its members to provide the MCLI with an indication of the costs, both financial and other, that these delays have had on operations. “We invite all sectors, whether MCLI members or not, to communicate with us to give us a clearer picture of what this has entailed for your operation.”

Communication is a Two Way Street

Pointing out that communication is a two-way street, the organisation called for stakeholders’ “perspective, insights and comments” which it said are crucial for the MCLI to do its job.

“Feedback, whether good or bad,” was called for “so that we can do our work better. Call us, email us, whatever you do, speak to us!

Phone +2713 744 0293 or Mobile +2783 555 6025 or Email

Information available to the MCLI is that the paving refurbishment will take between 2 and 3 months “…so we are presently building a very strong case for 24 hour operations at Lebombo/Ressano Garcia. We realize this has major implications for the public sector service providers, but we are prepared to assist in whatever way we can to make this happen as soon as possible.”


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Pictures: NSRI Table Bay. Video below courtesy NSRI, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures: NSRI Table Bay. Video below courtesy NSRI

Very few weeks, even days, go by without numerous urgent calls for assistance to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a purely voluntary rescue organisation on duty along the entire South Africa seaboard 24 hours a day.

This past week was not an exception. We are reporting just one incident out of a number from different NSRI stations around the country.

The NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) was activated at 05h46, Thursday, 31 August, following reports of a 71 year old fisherman suspected to be suffering a heart attack on the fishing vessel…[restrict] ELLIS-S at the fishing grounds approximately 40 nautical miles North West from Cape Town.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) arranged for the WC (Western Cape) Government Health EMS duty doctor to speak to the Captain of the fishing trawler by radio phone in order to medically assess the patient and communications were assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.

The EMS duty doctor deemed it necessary for the patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible and the NSRI Table Bay duty crew was activated by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) at 06h55.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services instructed the fishing vessel Ellis-S to begin a heading towards the Port of Cape Town.

Oryx helicopter overhead of f/v Ellis-S to medivac ill fisherman. Picture: NSRI, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: NSRI Table Bay

The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue Spirit of Day, with coxswain Davide Del Fante and crew Gal Chiles and Ewald Bonzet (Gal and Ewald are also Community Medics paramedics), was sent ahead as a first response.

The patient being hoisted from the fishing vessel Ellis-S into the SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter while the two NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft stand by on the scene.
Three WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics responded to the sea rescue station in Cape Town harbour.

The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom, with coxswain Rudi Fisch and crew Ian Watson (NSRI Table Bay deputy station commander), Yaseen Gamiet, Heather Forror and Gert van der Linde and accompanied by the three EMS rescue paramedics, Fabian Higgins, Antoinette Burrows and Anina Balie, was dispatched.

On the sea rescue craft Spirit of Day’s arrival on the scene, approximately 30 nautical miles North West of the Port of Cape Town, the two NSRI medics, Gal Chiles and Ewald Bonzet, were transferred from the sea rescue craft onto the trawler and they commenced medical treatment to the patient who was found to be showing signs and symptoms of a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction).

On the arrival on the scene of the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom two of the EMS rescue paramedics, Antoinette Burrows and Anina Balie, were transferred onto the fishing vessel and they continued with medical treatment.

An SA Air Force (SAAF) 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter was tasked by MRCC to assist NSRI ASR with the emergency patient evacuation.

The SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter, piloted by Major JP du Preez and his co-pilot Major Jan Agenbach, and supported by their flight engineer Flight Sergeant Frank Boekooi and by the NSRI ASR rescue officer Marius Hayes and NSRI ASR rescue swimmer Carol Cunningham, were airborne from Air Force Base Ysterplaat at 09h31 and the NSRI ASR team rendezvoused with the casualty vessel (and the two NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft) approximately 20 nautical miles North West of the Port of Cape Town.

The patient, in a stable condition, was hoisted into the helicopter secured in a rescue basket and the two EMS rescue paramedics (Antoinette and Anina) were also hoisted into the helicopter where they continued with medical treatment inside the aircraft and the patient was flown directly to Groote Schuur Hospital where doctors and nurses took over medical care of the patient.

The operation was completed at 10h30.

Video clip showing airlift operation. [1:38]



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Author: Lana Jacobs, Bowmans

Lana Jacobs, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lana Jacobs

Increased vessel automation, integration and digitisation are the inevitable future of shipping, adding cyber-attacks to the usual concerns of ship-owners and insurers.

While boosting the efficiency of the shipping industry, automation is enlarging the pool of risks faced. On top of natural disaster, the threat of piracy and human error as covered by standard marine insurance policies, ship owners may now find themselves under attack from the likes of a Trojan worm, GPS interference, ransomware and ‘ratting’ (remote administration tool software).

In the light of these risks, many ship owners are forced to take out cyber-risk gap cover, over and above protection and indemnity (P&I) and hull insurance. In fact, some hull insurers expressly exclude cyber-risks. These ‘gap cover policies’ usually include a risk management service employed to lessen the adverse effects of cyber incidents, including business interruption costs and cyber ransom cover.

Blurring the lines as to who will pay

However, it is clear that the coverage lines between each insurance policy may easily become blurred. For example, if a ship runs aground and causes pollution due to a navigation hack, will that claim be covered by P&I pollution cover? These questions are not easily answered.

The shipping industry is not alone in contending with cyber-attacks. The threat is real for all industries. Even large multinational companies are struggling to keep up with the rate at which these attacks are developing and evolving in nature. Companies cannot quantify and develop risk management strategies fast enough to cope with the ever-escalating threat of attacks, which are often highly visible breaches of networks that many companies thought were impregnable.

According to IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, transportation was the fifth most cyber-attacked industry in 2015. High-value goods are frequently transported by sea, making shipping an attractive target for hackers.

Most notably, in June 2017 one of the world’s best-known shipping companies, AP Moller Maersk A/S, suffered a global system shutdown as a result of a global cyber-attack. The company’s operations were brought to an abrupt halt for days, with hackers demanding untraceable cryptocurrency as ransom.

All it takes for malware to spread within hours or minutes is for one computer to be affected within a network. This is a daunting reality on board a highly automated vessel. Should a crew member open a malicious mail purporting to be from a maritime authority, insurer, regulatory authority or family member, the malware could infect the vessel’s entire operating system and jeopardise the vessel’s engine room operation or cargo temperature control or navigation systems – the so-called ‘critical infrastructure’ on a vessel. In these circumstances, the point of departure for vessel security is crew education and vigilance.

Gaps in cyber insurance cover are inevitable

Although insurers are now offering separate cyber-security policies and cover, these cyber-risks are not static and may by their very nature be undetectable. Fueled by the high rate of technology development, new risks of potential cyber-invasion arise constantly and at a rate that cannot be continually updated within a written policy. Moreover, underwriters face great difficulty in quantifying their potential liability where the consequences of a cyber-attack may be far-reaching. Gaps in cyber insurance cover are therefore inevitable. As owners and insurers work to better understand and address these risks, operational staff and crew may have very little guidance as to the gravity of the consequences of cyber-attacks.

In conducting a Crew Connectivity 2015 survey of crew members in 2015, Futurenautics found that a mere 12% of crew members had received any form of cyber-security training. Only 43% were aware of any cyber-safe policy or cyber-hygiene guidelines provided by their company for personal web-browsing or the use of external devices.

The consequences of failing to educate crew members about cyber security may be significant, both in terms of operations and safety.

Ship owners, operators, managers and insurers must take a holistic and collaborative approach to cyber-security. This includes taking steps to protect software and hardware, and to develop and implement policies and risk assessment and management programmes. However, the most immediate and cost-effective steps are to educate crew members and shore-side operational staff about the threat of cyber-attacks, how these attacks are perpetrated and the serious consequences that may result.

Cyber security is no longer a concern only for the IT department, but rather one for all employees.

More background on developments and potential regulatory concerns in autonomous shipping can be found here.

For further information please contact:
Candice Moollan, Communications Manager, +27 11 669 9443 Mobile +27 84 251 1998

Melody Makeka, Communications Co-ordinator, +27 21 480 7898, Mobile +27 74 101 9082

About Bowmans

Bowmans is a leading Pan-African law firm. Its track record of providing domestic and cross-border legal services in the fields of corporate law, banking and finance law and dispute resolution, spans over a century. With 400 specialised lawyers, Bowmans is differentiated by its geographical reach, independence and the quality of legal services it provides.

The firm delivers integrated legal services to clients throughout Africa from six offices (Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg, Kampala and Nairobi) in four countries (Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda).

Bowmans works closely with leading Nigerian firm Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, and Mozambique-based boutique firm, Taciana Peão Lopes & Advogados Associados. It also has strong relationships with other leading law firms across the rest of Africa and a representative of Lex Mundi, a global association with more than 160 independent law firms across the globe.

Clients include corporates, multinationals and state-owned enterprises across a range of industry sectors as well as financial institutions and governments.

Bowmans expertise is frequently recognised by independent research organisations. The firm has been named African Legal Adviser by DealMakers for the last three consecutive years and South African Law Firm of the Year for 2016 by the Who’s Who Legal. Bowmans also won the Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year, the Employment Team of the Year, and the Property Team of the Year Awards at the prestigious African Legal Awards hosted by Legal Week and the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa in 2016.


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The US anti-missile missile. US Navy photo by Latonja Martin/Released. USN ©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The US anti-missile missile. US Navy photo by Latonja Martin/Released. USN ©

On 29 August it was reported that a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, during Flight Test Standard Missile-27, Event 2.

The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).

Historical note

USS John Paul Jones is the…[restrict] fifth US warship to bear this name and honours the Father of the American Navy.

Born in Scotland, Commodore John Paul Jones earned the undying respect and admiration of his countrymen by his extraordinary courage, tactical genius and audacity during the American War for Independence.

John Paul Jones crest, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
John Paul Jones crest

Without hesitation, he took the war at sea to the British, attacking their coastlines and capturing their ships in the British fleet’s home waters. These acts inspired and transformed the fledgling Colonial Navy from an upstart band of rebels to a recognized fighting force, providing critical justification for recognition of the colonies and their right to independence from Great Britain.

John Paul Jones is best remembered for his heroic defeat of the British 50-gun frigate Serapis on 23 September 1779.

The three-hour battle off Flamborough Head (on England’s East Coat), in which John Paul Jones, in command of Bonhomme Richard, was victorious over a vastly superior British foe, established the spirit from which has grown the greatest Navy the world has ever known.

Captured Serapis flag, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Today, USS John Paul Jones proudly displays the flag (illustrated at right) of the captured Serapis as her Battle Ensign.

DDG 53’s motto, In Harm’s Way reflects Commodore Jones’ understanding that victory at sea will always require fast ships which are prepared to close and defeat the enemy.

For more of this history readers are invited to open:[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

[Note: The above report can be read in relation to the recent missile launches of North Korea – editor Africa PORTS & SHIPS]


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Transaid truck-in-training, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

This August Transaid launched a nationwide appeal to find a second-hand tractor unit and trailer to support its new driver training project in Uganda.

Transaid urgently requires an artic combination to bolster its training fleet from early 2018, and is calling on manufacturers, dealers, used vehicle retailers and operators to come forward with potential assets which could be donated.

The tractor and trailer will be used for training hundreds of new commercial vehicle drivers every year in the Mukono district, east of Kampala, where the charity has embarked on a major new training initiative to ensure Ugandan drivers can meet the needs of the oil, gas and related sectors, in the face of rising demand for qualified drivers.

Neil Rettie, Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager, commented: “Uganda is a right-hand drive market, so ex-UK trucks [or Southern African] are commonplace here. We are ideally seeking a 6×2 or 6×4 tractor unit with a large high-roof sleeper cab, sufficient to comfortably accommodate an instructor and three students. We are quite used to removing sleeper bunks to facilitate additional seating inside the cab – the key thing is ensuring it has got sufficient leg room to make a conversion possible, plus ideally a flat floor or minimal intrusion from an engine tunnel.’

Transaid requires a tractor unit which is no more than five years old, and ideally with a manual gearbox and standard flat-glass mirrors. Tractors with minimal electronics and ancillary equipment are preferred, as are vehicles which do not require AdBlue diesel fuel additive. Low ride-height tractors are unsuitable, due to the need to frequently navigate large speed bumps and sometimes rough road conditions.

For the trailer, the project ideally needs a tri-axle box van, tanker, flat bed or skeletal (supplied with an empty shipping container), and no more than ten years old.

The donated assets are expected to remain in service for many years, and can be supplied with special livery to reflect the supplying company’s generous donation.

Uganda currently suffers from one of Africa’s highest road traffic incident rates, claiming approximately 2,937 lives each year. Transaid is working with its project partners to improve road safety by enhancing the commercial vehicle driver training capacity.

Raising driving standards

Transaid’s involvement in this new project was secured because of its proven ability to raise the driving standards of thousands of commercial vehicle drivers in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia – life-saving work which it began in 2008 with the support of the UK transport and logistics industry. Training vehicles have previously been donated for these projects from firms including Co-Op, IVECO and MAN.

Due to the complex logistics of transporting vehicles to central Africa, Transaid requires assets which can be made available as soon as possible. It is to be hoped that the vehicles will be donated by separate organisations. In a note of advice from Transaid vehicles should ideally be delivered to the nominated port (to be confirmed). Shipping can be arranged by Transaid, although any offers of support are welcome.

Offers of assistance are requested to be sent to Jade Ashby, Corporate Partnerships’ Office at Transaid’s London headquarters on +44 (0)20 7387 8136, or by email to

Paul Ridgway


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PRESS RELEASES: Strainstall secures OEM contract with Kalmar

Send your Press Releases here and marked PRESS RELEASE. Provided they are considered appropriate to our readers we will either turn them into a story, or publish them here.

Strainstall secures OEM contract with Kalmar for installation of CWS™ during production of reach stackers

Kalmar reach stacker, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


  • Strainstall secures significant contract with reach stacker OEM to install its container weighing system during production
  • OEM contract with Kalmar secured in quick succession to CWS™ EU-type approval
  • CWS™ has no consumable parts, ensuring minimal wear to help reduce operating costs of container handling equipment

Strainstall has secured a significant contract for its innovative Container Weight System (CWS)™ with a reach stacker original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Kalmar – part of Cargotec, closely following…[restrict] EU approval of the system.

As the leading provider of container weighing systems and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, Strainstall’s OEM contract win with Kalmar cements its position in the container weighing systems market, which has been estimated to reach US$ 3.95 billion by 2022.

The Kalmar reach stacker contract gives its customers’ the choice of installing Strainstall’s Container Weight System™ to ensure compliance to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) amendment for the verification of container weights, as a fully certified solution. Installing CWS™ during production helps to ensure SOLAS compliance and provides operators with a means of providing the verified gross mass (VGM) of containers.

Mikael Andersson, product manager at Kalmar Mobile Equipment said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer our customers a fully certified solution to determine container VGM for SOLAS compliance. Strainstall’s solution has demonstrated high accuracy and is easily to install, providing useable VGM information as well identifying overloaded containers for the safety of operators.”

Strainstall’s CWS™ seamlessly integrates load monitoring technology onto container handling equipment, such as reach stackers, delivering accurate weight verification data in real-time, as part of the regular lifting cycle, with no driver intervention required. Permanently installed on the reach stacker equipment, CWS™ has no consumable parts, ensuring minimal wear to help reduce operating costs.

Simon Everett, managing director at Strainstall said: “We’re extremely pleased to have secured a major contract with a reach stacker OEM, in quick succession to EU approval for our container weighing system. This contract will give end users the choice to be able to provide VGM for their customers with no impact to their lifting operations.”

CWS™ was specifically developed to meet the SOLAS container weight verification regulations and has been successfully installed at a number of international container terminals and container handling equipment, where the system has demonstrated its high accuracy.

CWS™ also doesn’t just provide the verified gross mass of a container, but also container snag detection and its centre of gravity (COG), helping to ensuring the safety of container stowage and transportation.[/restrict]


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.


Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



Luomahu, by Ian Shiffman appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Chinese warships Luomahu (above) and Yuncheng in Cape Town harbour Sept 2016. Pictures: Ian Shiffmasn, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures by Ian Shiffman

Two of the three Chinese naval warships to currently be visiting Cape Town are the type 903 replenishment support ship LUOMAHU (pennant number 964, top) and the type 054A guided missile frigate YUNCHENG (lower; see PIC OF THE DAY above for third ship HEFEI). Displacing 23,400 tons Luomahu was commissioned into service in July 2016 as an active member of the South Sea fleet and has a complement of 130 crewmembers. She carries a cargo of fuel for the other ships as well as necessary cargo supplies.

The second ship, the multi-role frigate Yuncheng (pennant 571, type 054A) is one of 22 ships of her class, with a further two planned or under construction. She displaces 4,053 tons and is powered by four diesel engines providing a reported speed of 27 knots and has a complement of 165. The type 054A has taken part in the Gulf of Aden on counter piracy patrols. All three ships are returning from a visit to St Petersburg in the Baltic Sea where they took part in a naval parade and exercises with the Russian Navy. These pictures are by Ian Shiffman



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– John Muir, 1869



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