Navy’s third new sub arrives at Simon’s Town
May 23, 2008
The South African Navy’s third Meko class submarine, SAS Queen Modjadji I (S103), arrived in Simon’s Town yesterday morning on her delivery voyage from the builders in Germany.
Queen Modjadji I is the last of seven new ships from the controversial arms contract placed with German shipyards. Four frigates of the Valour class have already entered service in the navy as have the first two submarines, SAS Manthathisi (S101) and SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102).
The latest submarine arrived having been escorted home by SAS Protea, the navy’s hydrographical survey vessel. En route to South Africa Protea experienced mechanical problems, fortunately while the ship was in the vicinity of the Canaries, which resulted in an unscheduled call being made at Las Palmas and a frustrating delay as the request for spares coincided with public holidays in SA and elsewhere. Being a long weekend authorisation could not be obtained to purchase the necessary spares from Sweden – as the officer commanding SAS Protea expressed it on the navy’s official website, “Even the parts that we needed could not leave Sweden until the Monday morning because the accounts staff had taken the Friday off to have a long weekend. Imagine our frustration!”
At least the crew made the most of the opportunity for some unexpected sightseeing on a scenic and popular holiday destination.
Meanwhile the submarine had continued on ahead while remaining in constant contact with her escort and her scheduled arrival in Simon’s Town went ahead as planned.
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