List of active South African Navy ships

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List of active ships of the South African Navy.


SAS Spioenkop (F147)
Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Valour Class SAS Amatola (F145) F145 2005 Named after the location of the battles between the Xhosa people and Britain in the Amatola mountain range
Valour Class SAS Isandlwana (F146) F146 2006 Named for the Battle of Isandlwana
Valour Class SAS Spioenkop (F147) F147 2007 Named for the Battle of Spion Kop
Valour Class SAS Mendi (F148) F148 2007 Named for the SS Mendi, a ship that sunk carrying members of the 5th Battalion, South African Native Labour Corps

Fast attack craft (Offshore Patrol Vessel)[edit]

Warrior Class attack craft

Warrior (ex Minister) class Fast Attack Craft (Missile) (FAC (M)): Modified (Sa'ar 4) (Israeli design). As of July 2014 three remain in commission.[1] They have had their missiles and rear 76 mm guns removed and reassigned to the offshore patrol role until the acquisition of new off-shore patrol vessels under Project Biro[citation needed]. As of late 2013 it appears that the SAN plan on operating 4 of these vessels for another 5 years with the SAS Adam Kok sill awaiting conversion to the OPV configuration.[2][3]

Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Warrior Class SAS Isaac Dyobha SAS Frans Erasmus P1565 1979 Named for former National Party cabinet minister Frans Erasmus; renamed after the Reverend Isaac Dyobha, a chaplain in the SA Native Labour Corps who died in the sinking of the SS Mendi in 1917[4]
Warrior Class SAS Galeshewe SAS Hendrik Mentz P1567 1982 Named for South African Party minister of defence Hendrik Mentz; renamed for the Tlhaping tribe's chief Galeshewe
Warrior Class SAS Adam Kok SAS Frederic Creswell P1563 6 April 1978 Built by Israel Shipyards Ltd, Haifa, Israel.[5] Originally named for South African Labour Party minister Frederic Creswell and renamed for black South African leader Adam Kok III. Stripped and towed to Durban to await possible refit[6]
Warrior Class SAS Makhanda SAS Magnus Malan P1569 4 July 1986 Built by Sandock Austral, Durban, South Africa.[5] Originally named after National Party politician and Chief of the South African Defense Force Magnus Malan; Converted to an OPV in 2014[1]

Mine counter measures vessels[edit]

These mine countermeasure vessels were ordered in 1978 as research vessels to be operated by the Navy for the Department of Transport. The civilian Department of Transport was used as a ruse to circumvent United Nations Security Council Resolution 418. The lead ship, Navors I, was shipped to Durban from Germany in the heavy lift ship Uhenfels in June 1980 for fitting out[citation needed]. She was shortly followed by the second. The last pair were built in Durban. The German boats were built by Abeking & Rasmussen and Sandock Austral in South Africa. The vessels were painted blue with white upperworks and formed the First Research Squadron. They were painted grey and renamed in 1982, but continued to fly the national flag and not the naval ensign. The prefix RV was only changed to SAS on 3 February 1988 when they were formally accepted as naval ships. Their minehunting capability could be enhanced by substituting the diving container on the after deck with lightweight mechanical and acoustic sweeping gear. They carry a RIB and a decompression chamber. The plan is to enhance them with second-generation minehunting system.[citation needed]

SAS Umzimkulu
Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
River Class[7] SAS Umkomaas RV Navors I M1499 1981 Named after the river Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal
River Class SAS Umhloti RV Navors IV M1212 Dec 1981 Named after Umhloti River close to Durban, South Africa
River Class SAS Umgeni RV Navors II M1213 Mar 1981 Named after Umgeni River
River Class SAS Umzimkulu RV Navors III M1142 1981 Named after Umzimkulu River


The South African Navy purchased three new Type 209/T.1400 class submarines (SSK) submarines to replace its decommissioned Daphné class submarines.

SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S-102)
Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Heroine Class SAS Manthatisi S101 7 April 2006[8][9] Built by Howaldtswerke at Kiel. Launched in June 2004. Named after the female warrior chief of the Batlokwa tribe.[10]
Heroine Class SAS Charlotte Maxeke S102 14 March 2007[11] Built by Thyssen Nordseewerke in Emden. Launched in May 2005. Arrived Simon's Town 27 April 2007. Charlotte Maxeke is named after the female political activist who campaigned for equality in the early 20th century.[10]
Heroine Class SAS Queen Modjadji I S103 May 2008 Built by Thyssen Nordseewerke in Emden. Launched in May 2006. Named after the South African rain queen.[10]

Patrol vessels[edit]

A Namacurra class harbor patrol boat in 2007

Inshore patrol vessels[edit]

These boats are twin hulled catamarans of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) sandwich construction. Capable of carrying up to 15 personnel. Ordered in mid-1991, each carries a RIB in the stern well.[12] Three of this type were also built[who?] for Israel in 1997.[citation needed]

Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
T-Craft Class SAS Tobie P1552 1992
T-Craft Class SAS Tern P1553 1996
T-Craft Class SAS Tekwane P1554 1996 Named for Tekwane, South Africa

Harbour patrol boats[edit]

Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Namacurra Class Y1501 to Y1530 1981–1982 Built in South Africa by Tornado Products in 1980-81.[13]
Y1520 transferred to Malawi on 29 October 1988[14]
Two transferred to Namibia in 2002.[14]
Two transferred to Mozambique in September 2004.[15]
Y1506 lost at sea off Port Elizabeth.[13]

Auxiliary vessels[edit]

SAS Drakensberg (A301)
Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
AOR SAS Drakensberg A301 11 November 1987 Built by Sandock Austral, Durban. Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR). Carries at least one Atlas Oryx helicopter.

Hydrographic survey[edit]

Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Hecla Class SAS Protea A324 1972 Built by Yarrow & Co Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland. Launched 1971. Has a helideck and a hangar for a light helicopter.


Class Name Previous Names Pennant Commissioned Notes
Harbour Tug SAS De Neys 1969 Completed by Globe Engineering, Cape Town; replaced the decommissioned SAS De Noorde (1962)
Harbour Tug SAS Umalusi Golden Energy 1998 Completed in 1995 by Jaya Holding Ltd. Acquired from Taikong Trading Company in January 1997[16]
Coastal Tug (YTB) SAS De Mist 1979 Completed by Dorbyl Long, Durban 1978
Damen Stan Tug 2006 ZTRF Indlovu 2006 Built by Farocean Marine to a design from Dutch firm Damen Group—the vessels have special bows for handling the Navy's submarines.[17]
Damen Stan Tug 2006 ZTTS Tschukundu 2006 Built by Farocean Marine to a design from Dutch firm Damen Group—the vessels have special bows for handling the Navy's submarines.[17]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Revamped strike craft ready for counter-piracy duty". 17 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Odendaal, Natasha (2013-10-04). "South African Navy mulls future requirements as fleet remains active". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  3. ^ "SA Navy in process of refurbishing". 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  4. ^ "THE HISTORY OF THE SAS ISAAC DYOBHA". South African Navy website. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Du Toit 1992, p. 309.
  6. ^ Wingrin, Dean (10 May 2013). "Navy commences upgrade of fourth strike craft". Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Coastal Mine Hunters - MHC
  8. ^ Schmidt, Michael (2006-04-08). "Warrior queen arrives in Simon's Town". The Independent on Saturday. p. 2. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 
  9. ^ "S-101 Commissioned" (Press release). South African Navy. 3 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  10. ^ a b c "". SSK Manthatisi Class (Type 209/1400) Attack Submarine, South Africa. 
  11. ^ "South African Navy Commissions Charlotte Maxeke". 
  12. ^ "Patrol Forces". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  13. ^ a b "DefenceWeb". 
  14. ^ a b "SA Navy Website". Role of the SA Navy. 
  15. ^ "France Diplomatie". Canal de Moçambique : Apoio a formação de marinheiros moçambicanos e a manutenção das lanchas Namacurra. French Government. 
  16. ^ "South African Navy". 
  17. ^ a b "Recent deliveries". Damen Group. 2006. Retrieved 2011-12-04. "Two Damen Stan Tugs 2006, further developed in close cooperation with Farocean Marine, will be used in Simon’s Town harbour to fulfill their role as multi purpose workboats for the South African Navy. These vessels have a specially designed bow in order to assist the submarines when they touch base." 

External links[edit]