Young Indian members of the South African community are being trained for service with the Navy.
GV "SAS Jalsena", training base for Indian sailors at Salisbury Island, Durban Bay.
GVs & SV Indian trainees marching on parade ground. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV Missile patrol boat moored at Salisbury island and sailors on board. (2 SHOTS)
SVs Weaponry on ship. (2 SHOTS)
GV Ship's radar system.
GV & SV Scorpion missiles under cover.
SV Sailor pulling up anchor.
GVs Ship leaves harbour. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Young Indian members of the South African community are being trained for service with the Navy. Under a system introduced this year, the recruits spend their first eleven months at a Naval base on Salisbury Island in Durban Bay, where the country's navy relies heavily on coastal patrol missile carrying boats.
SYNOPSIS: The Indian sailors are trained at the Jalsena naval establishment in Durban Harbour, the start of two years of voluntary national service. This special base was formed in 1974 after the country's Indian Council asked the government to form a defence unit manned by Indian South Africans. The first eleven months of training are spent at Jalsena. After their passing out ceremony the young ratings complete their instruction at other units.
Near the training establishment, the South African navy bases its missile patrol boats. These heavily armed craft carry between six and eight Scorpion missiles, are capable of more than 30 knots (about 55 kilometres an hour) and have a crew of about 50 men. South Africa manufacturers build these craft, including all the armament on board. The nation's fleet is small in world terms, comprising three frigates, three French Daphne submarines, six patrol boats, a destroyer and about ten other small craft. More often, they're involved in rescuing merchant ships in distress, and watch Soviet naval movements within South Africa's territorial waters.
Until 1967, there were no Soviet ships in the Indian Ocean. But within months a small permanent naval presence was established. By 1978 the Soviet Union had bases from Aden to Madagascar. South African leaders are said to believe that as the energy crisis worsens both the United States and the Soviet Union will seek to influence their country.