New SA Navy corvette due

Oct 29, 2003
Author: P&S

The newest addition to the South African navy, the first of four corvettes being built in Germany, SAS Amatola, is due in Simon’s Town on her delivery voyage on Tuesday, 4 November 2003.

SAS Amatola, which was built by Blohm+Boss in Kiel, Germany, is one of four Meko A200SAN class corvette/frigates, built to a high level of stealth design.

The ship’s crew under the command of Captain Guy Jamieson flew to Germany several months ago to familiarise themselves with the vessel, before setting out on the long voyage down the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa. The ship is named after a mountain range in the East Cape that was the scene of epic battles over a protracted period between the Xhosa people who inhabited the area and the British Army.

The ship is 121 metres in length with an overall beam of 16.34m and displaces approximately 3,500 tonnes. Her steel hull and superstructure is shaped for an extremely low radar signature. Propulsion consists of a CODAG-WARP (Combined Diesel and Gasturbine – Waterjet and Refined Propellers) driving two shafts fitted with controllable pitch propellers and a waterjet and producing a speed in excess of 27 knots.

The ship is designed to carry a Sea Lynx helicopter although for the first few years the new corvette/frigates will probably make use of existing Oryx military helicopters. SAS Amatola’s combat suite, which includes surface-to-surface missiles, SAMs and dual-purpose guns as well as decoy weaponry, will be retro-fitted in South Africa.

The new ship will go on public display to the media on Wednesday, 5 November when the ship will go to sea for several hours with members of the media on board, giving them an opportunity to experience the ship being put through her paces, including high speed manoeuvres and damage control exercises.

Ports & Ships will be among those on board and a full report will be posted afterwards.

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