SAS Isandlwana to be commissioned next week in Durban

Jul 20, 2006
Author: P&S

SAS Isandlwana (F146), the navyís latest frigate of the Meko class will be commissioned into service at a ceremony at the Salisbury Island Naval Station in Durban next week.

The frigate is due to arrive in port in the company of another of the class, SAS Amatola (F145). The commissioning will take place on either Wednesday 27 July or possibly a day earlier, Tuesday 26 July. The actual date is dependant on the availability of the Minister of Defence and was not known when this was published.

SAS Amatola (F145), the first of the class was commissioned into service at Simonís Town on 16 February after being handed over to the navy by the contractors. All four frigates have arrived from Germany and final fitting out has been taking place at Simonís Town. The two ships still to be commissioned are SAS Spioenkop (F147) and SAS Mendi (F148).

Each ship displaces approximately 3,500 tonnes and has a length of 121 metres with a beam of 16.34m. They are fitted with CODAG-WARP propulsion systems consisting of diesel and gas turbine engines powering a waterjet and twin-shaft refined propellers. Weaponry consists of a 76mm main gun, a 35mm dual purpose gun, 16 surface-to-air missiles and 8 Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles (with provision for 16), plus decoy rockets. The high degree of stealth technology in the design makes the ships extremely difficult to detect by radar and other electronic methods.

It has also been learned that the two Pakistani Navy warships, the Type 21 frigate Badr (F184) and her accompanying oiler Nasr (A47), will exercise with the two SAN frigates off the KZN coast but will not be entering Durban. The two Pakistani ships have been on an official visit to Simonís Town and following the exercise will return to Pakistan.


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