Royal Navy nuclear sub to visit Simonís Town

Oct 04, 2007
Author: P&S

South African Navy headquarters in Pretoria has announced that a Royal Navy nuclear powered submarine, HMS SCEPTRE, will be visiting Simonís Town as from today (Thursday).

HMS Sceptre (S104), which was the first of the Swiftsure-class hunter-killer boats will remain at Simonís Town until Saturday (6 October) and will not be open to the public although media have been invited to take photographs at the naval dockyard.

ďThe visit forms part of the British High Commissionís aim of promoting diplomatic relations with South Africa and will further strengthen the existing relations between the South African Navy and the Royal Navy,Ē said SA Navy spokesman Lt-Cmdr Prince Tshabalala.

The visit by the British ship follows closely on the visit to Durban and Cape Town of the US destroyer USS FORREST SHERMAN which in turn was preceded by the visit of six warships of a NATO task force. Both the NATO group and the US ship exercised with the South African Navy while in South African waters. It hasnít been disclosed whether joint exercises involving HMS Sceptre will be conducted.

The Swiftsure-class of submarine consists of five boats, built between 1978 (HMS Sceptre) and 1981 (HMS Splendid). They displace 4,500 tonnes when submerged and have dimensions of 83m length by 9.8m by 8.25m. Propulsion is in the form of a single nuclear reactor feeding a steam turbine and driving a single shaft, producing 15,000 sea horse power and providing for a maximum speed of 28 knots.

The submarine carries an arsenal of five 21 inch torpedo tubes firing a range of torpedoes, anti-ship sub-Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles.

She was the Royal Navyís tenth nuclear powered submarine to enter service and is the sixth navy vessel to carry the name Sceptre. In the late 1990ís the boat began six years of a costly refit that has equipped her to carry on well into the next decade.

She carries a complement of 114 (18 officers and 96 crew).



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