Last submarine decommissioned today
Nov 28, 2003
The last surviving South African Navy submarine, SAS Assegaai (S99), was due to be decommissioned today (Friday, 28 November 2003) at a ceremony at the Simonís Town Naval Base.
SAS Assegaai, formerly SAS Johanna van der Merwe, was one of three Daphne class submarines acquired from France in 19700/71, which became the first and thus far the only submarines to serve in the South African Navy.
The three boats making up the Submarine Flotilla gave excellent service as an effective deterrent around the coastal waters of South Africa and took part in a number of joint exercises with ships of other navies. At least one submarine participated in clandestine operations during the Angola conflict in the 1970s.
The ships underwent several modernisation and refit programmes carried out locally that helped keep the ships in seaworthy and useful condition long past their planned operational lifespan.
The navy expects to take delivery of three modern submarines from the German Submarine Consortium from mid-2005.