New SA Navy corvette goes on sea trials
Aug 19, 2003
The South African Navy’s latest warship, SAS Amatola departed the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Kiel yesterday (Monday, 18 August 2003) for final sea trials.
SAS Amatola is one of four new 121m long Meko A200AN corvettes, a design that is in reality a light frigate, which has been under construction at the German shipyard. Delivery was delayed for about eight months because faulty cabling was installed but now the ship is ready for her first voyage.
On return to the Blohm+Voss yard at the end of the week, and provided the acceptance trials prove satisfactory, the final handover to a South African Navy crew will take place. The ship’s SAN crew has been in Germany for several months training with the ship and will have the opportunity of ‘getting acquainted’ more fully on the long voyage to Simon’s Town.
SAS Amatola’s officer commanding is Captain Guy Jamieson and carries a crew of about 100. The ship is named after a mountain range in the Eastern Cape that was used by the Xhosa nation as a natural fortress against the British during the colonial wars of the 19th Century.
The second vessel has been named SAS Isandlwana, after the mountain in KwaZulu Natal, which was the scene of a famous battle in 11879 between the Zulu army and British troops under Lord Chelmsford, in which more than a thousand British soldiers lost their lives and the battle.