How versatile are the Rugged Riverine Boats (RRBs) that Twiga offers?

Damian de Lange: Twiga’s RRBs are designed to meet several operational needs, from high-speed and rapid interdiction operations, conducted by special forces and counter piracy units, to load-carrying for humanitarian operations following large-scale flooding. The vessels come in 6.5-12.5m in both narrow and wide beam, while the final design can be customised by the client to meet their operational requirements. As such, we offer a wide variety of ancillary equipment and sensors that can be fitted onto the RRB as and when the client demands.

These vessels are fabricated from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). What advantages does the use of this material offer operators?

Any operator of fast-attack boats along rivers or coastlines knows full well that they’ll encounter a number of environmental challenges, in addition to those afforded potential encounters with armed opponents. Hidden dangers, from subsurface flotsam to jagged rocks, lurk under the surface, while storms and tidal changes serve to impede navigation. Our use of HDPE in the RRB range makes these vessels virtually indestructible and offers a number of other key advantages for the operator. The first is flexibility; this material will not deform or crack during use, is highly resistant to aggressive chemicals and does not corrode in contact with oxygen, salt, water, sunlight, electricity or floating ice. As such, operating costs are significantly reduced for the user. What’s more, since HDPE is a plastic, it is easier to weld than steel or other types of metal, is fully recyclable and has a lower overall carbon footprint. The only downside is that the material is heavier than the nearest industry equivalent – aluminium – by about 25%. Even so, the advantages I’ve listed above more than compensate for this.

What can you tell us about Twiga’s approach towards technology transfer?

Twiga’s ethos is to find opportunities for anyone acquiring our products to develop their own in-house maintenance and repair capabilities, from minor refits to major mid-life upgrades. Where possible, we also encourage the manufacturing of our products in our customer’s home country. Twiga implements these principles through the development of relevant training courses and technology transfer programmes.

How have these principles been applied to the assembly and sale of the Nyoka Protected 4×4 Vehicle Platform in Uganda?

In this case, a pair of clients from Uganda – Impala Services and Logistics and the Ugandan Ministry of Defence – wished to acquire mine and ballistic-protected 4×4 vehicles and maintain them inside the country, thereby helping to limit operational costs while nurturing its defence industry. Twiga was able to support Impala Services in particular, due to the fact that it had designed, developed and qualified the Nyoka 4×4 in line with the end user’s specific requirements. We were able to support the development of the training programmes, skills and knowledge transfer programmes, mentorship and project management that will include the technology transfer.

What training and skills transfer programmes are offered by Twiga?

Twiga provides a range of technical training programmes, including mechanical, electrical and pneumatic servicing, as well as more specialised courses, such as armour and aluminium welding. We also supply project and quality management mentorship and training, and support in the establishment of systems for logistics, warehousing and quality assurance. Finally, we’re happy to help our clients in their record keeping and project management, any assessment of capabilities for transfer of technology programmes and the management of mentorship programmes.