The multinational (Brazil, India and RSA), maritime exercise EXERCISE IBSAMAR III

Article by CPO Oosthuizen
Photos by CPO Oosthuizen, Lt Cdr (BN) Lt Cdr Eduardo Raposo and MAI (PH) Jagadish Deka
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On 16 October 2012 Task Force 23 (TF 23) comprising of SAS AMATOLA (F145), INS DEEPAK (A50), INS DELHI (D61), BNS BARROSO (V34) and SAS UMZIMKULU (M1142), sailed from Simon’s Town for the first sea phase of Exercise IBSAMAR III. Exercise IBSAMAR is a maritime exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa that takes place every two years. This third exercise, scheduled to be conducted off the coast of South Africa, had a bumpy start with a strong South Easter wind that delayed sailing for a day. A strong team effort between the Harbour Master, the tugs and the TF vessels ensured the TF got to sea safely. The submarine SAS Queen Modjadji, who is part of the TF, remained in Simon’s Town until tasked to join the TF later in the exercise.


SAS UMZIMKULU swept the channel to ensure a safe departure for the TG, before she returned to the harbour. During day one, cross deck landings took place which provided an opportunity for the helicopter pilots and flight deck crews to certify qualifications. These were particularly challenging as they were conducted in very strong wind and high swell conditions. The Brazilian Lynx tested their landing capabilities in gusting winds of over 20 knots, hooking safely on to the harpoon grid of SAS AMATOLA before being lashed down by the flight deck crew for a few minutes. Still closed up for flying stations, SAS AMATOLA anxiously awaited the arrival of the enormous Indian SEA KING helicopter on board. With ease the ‘beast’ touched down for a few seconds whilst the flight deck crew stood pinned to the hanger door overwhelmed by both the size of the helicopter and precision with which the pilot handled the helicopter. The Indian ALLOUETTE cross deck landing serial was postponed due too strong wind conditions that exceeding the helicopter’s flight safety parameters. During an overcast and windy night, the TG aimed their guns to shoot simultaneously at a STAR BUST flare. For a short 40 seconds the quiet night echoed with guns firing from four ships before the sky turned pitch dark again.

A swell spray the Seamanship Party during the light line transfer between SAS AMATOLA and INS DEEPAK.

An aerial photo from the Brazilian Lynx - supplied by Lt Cdr Eduardo Raposo.

An aerial photo of the TG with the Cape Peninsula in the background.



Capt (BN) Marco Lucio Malschitzky on board the BNS BARROSO - photo supplied by Lt Cdr Eduardo Raposo.

Caution was taken to get the vessels safely out of the harbour in a strong South Easterly wind.


CTG in the bridge of the INS DEEPAK - photo supplied by Lt Cdr Eduardo Raposo.

First to land was the Brazilian Lynx helicopter on board SAS AMATOLA.

INS DEEPAK and BNS BARROSO in the background.


INS DEEPAK close to sunset.

INS DEEPAK entering Cape Town harbour.

INS DEEPAK receives their parcel from SAS AMATOLA during a light line transfer.

After a night of uncomfortable steaming, the Commander Task Force (CTF), Capt (BN) M.L. Malschitzky consulted with the three Commander Task Groups (CTGs) on several planned serials after weather conditions deteriorated during day two in the exercise areas south of Cape Point. After the TF repositioned itself with False Bay in order to take advantage of better weather conditions, a Photo Exercise (PHOTEX) was conducted which had the TF in a close formation where the Brazilian Lynx helicopter was used to take aerial photos of the TF. This was followed by a dry Replenishment at Sea (RAS) exercise between SAS AMATOLA and INS DEEPAK took place during the day where only distance lines were passed. SAS AMATOLA and INS DEEPAK lined up for the second time to conduct a light line transfer.

INS DEEPAK's Seamanship party is getting ready to fire the distance line.

INS DELHI and INS DEEPAK conducted a RAS whilst the INS DEEPAK and BNS BARROSO conduct a light line transfer. SAS AMATOLA keeps a safe distance.

INS DELHI and INS DEEPAK conducted a RAS whilst the INS DEEPAK and SAS AMATOLA did a light line transfer. INS BARROSO keeps a safe distance.


INS DELHI and INS DEEPAK conducted a RAS whilst the INS DEEPAK and SAS AMATOLA did a light line transfer.

INS DELHI in the background whilst INS DEEPAK and SAS AMATOLA conduct light line transfers



SAS AMATOLA and INS DELHI in the background.

SAS AMATOLA getting ready for the light line transfer with INS DEEPAK.

SAS AMATOLA receives their parcel during a light line transfer.



SAS UMZIMKULU sailed first to clear the channel for the rest of the TG

Seamanship onboard the SAS BARROSO get ready for the light line transfer.


CTF continuously analysed the weather conditions during day three and decided to proceed with the INS DEEPAK to refuel the INS DELHI from her Starboard side and conducting a light line transfer with SAS AMATOLA from her Port side. Meanwhile, the Indian ALLOUETTE circled above, conducting a FLYEX and PHOTOEX. On completion of SAS AMATOLA’s light line transfer the BNS BARROSO took station abeam of INS DEEPAK to conduct her light line transfer. The Indian ALLOUETTE touched down twice on board SAS AMATOLA before closing a third time to vertically lower a parcel (VETREP). On completion of these seamanship evolutions, the TF entered Cape Town Harbour. The following day (19 October), the Brazilian and Indian Defence Attachés and CTGs exchanged gifts during their courtesy calls to the Port Captain, Capt Sabelo S. Mdlalose (met by the Deputy Port Captain S. Minnaar in his absence), the Magistrate of Cape Town, Mr M. Dimbaza and the Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Ian Nielson. A reception was held on board INS DEEPAK whilst the TG was docked in the V and A Waterfront.

The BNS BARROSO entering Cape Town harbour

The Brazilian Lynx returning to BNS BARROSO during the cross deck landings.

The flight deck crew dropping the nets on board SAS AMATOLA for cross deck landings.


The Indian Allouette conducting a VETREP on BNS BARROSO1

The Indian Allouette conducting a VETREP on SAS AMATOLA

The SEA KING positioning itself.....


The Indian Sea King in hover above SAS AMATOLA

The SEA KING touching down, with its blades metres away from the camera

The SEA KING takes off after a couple of minutes


The Seamanship party cheering the INS DEEPAK on completion of a successful light line transfer.

The Seamanship party hard at work to keep the distance line in tack during the light line transfer.

The TG in formation for the PHOTOEX.


The wind conditions made it difficult but not impossible for these experienced pilots.

Two communications Indian junior ratings on board SAS AMATOLA

Two Senior Ratings sea riders from the INS DEEPAK with CPO Schalk on the flight deck of SAS AMATOLA