SAS Amatola (F145)

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SAS Amatola (F145) in 2009
Career (South Africa)
Name: SAS Amatola
Namesake: The Amatola Mountains where British forces fought the Xhosas in late 1852
Operator: South African Navy
Ordered: 3 December 1999
Builder: Blohm+Voss, Hamburg[1]
Laid down: 6 August 2001
Launched: 6 June 2002
Commissioned: 16 February 2006
Homeport: Simonstown
Status: in active service, as of 2014
General characteristics
Class & type: Valour-class frigate
Displacement: 3,700 long tons (3,759 t)
Length: 121 m (397 ft 0 in)
Beam: 16.34 m (53 ft 7 in)
Draught: 5.95 m (19 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: CODAG WARP
2 × Diesels 5,920 kW (7,939 hp) each
2 shafts
1 × Gas turbine 20,000 kW (26,820 hp)
1 waterjet
Speed: 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)
Complement: 152
Armament: • 1 × Otobreda 76 mm gun
• 1 × twin barreled 35 mm (Denel) dual purpose gun
• 2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon Mk1
• 8 × MBDA MM40 Exocet Block 2 SSM (2×4-cell launchers)
• 16 × Umkhonto SAM (2×8-cell vertical launchers)
Aircraft carried: 1 × SuperLynx 300 (can carry 2)

SAS Amatola (F145) is the first of four Valour class frigates for the South African Navy by the European South African Corvette Consortium.

The Amatola, in keeping with a naming convention depicting acts of valour, was named after the Amatola mountain range in the Eastern Cape area where British forces fought the Xhosa nation in late 1852. Mrs Zanele Mbeki (wife of then President Thabo Mbeki), named the vessel at the Blohm & Voss Thyssen Rheinstahl, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Thales shipyards in Germany just after noon on 7 June 2002.[2]

Construction[edit]

They were manufactured by the European South African Corvette Consortium (ESACC), consisting of the German Frigate Consortium (Blohm+Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl and Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werf), African Defence Systems (part of the French Thales defence group) and a number of South African companies.[3]

The ships were built to the MEKO modular design concept, and are designated by the manufacturer as the MEKO A-200SAN class. Some controversy exists as to the class type of the vessel, with both the manufacturer and the South African Navy referring to her as a "corvette", but other similar vessels in other navies being referred to as frigates. Some have claimed that the use of the word "corvette" was a political decision made by the South African government to ease criticism of the procurement of the vessels.

The SAS Amatola was built at the Blohm + Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Germany, and she arrived in South Africa on 4 June 2003.[1] She was next fitted out with her various weapons and electronic systems, and weapons integration trials were begun in October 2004. This was followed by the warship's commissioning on 16 February 2006.

On 7 April 2006 the SAS Amatola arrived from Kiel after accompanying the submarine SAS Manthatisi (S101) to Simon's Town on her maiden voyage.[4]

Deployments[edit]

During 2007, this vessel became the first South African frigate in decades to take part in the Royal Navy's Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) programme,[5] however without any embarked Super Lynx 300 helicopters, since these had not been delivered by the Westland company at the time.

Deployment
Exercise GOOD HOPE 2 2006 SAS Amatola participated in the combined Exercise Good Hope 2 with the German navy and the German and South African air forces off the Cape Peninsula in 2006
Escort to S101 Submarine 2006 The SAS Amatola escorted the first of the three new Class 209 submarines to SA[6]
Exercise INTEROP WEST 2006 Deployment to Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Soa Tome Islands.
Exercise BOST 2007 Completion of British Operational Sea Training (BOST) programme, in the UK, with Royal Navy.
NATO Exercise AMAZOLO 2007 [7] Exercise Amazolo, the first multi-navy exercise to involve ships of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the South African Navy took place in September 2007. The NATO ships included the USS Normandy, FGS Spessart, HNLMS Evertsen, HSCN Toronto, HDMS Olfert Fischer and FRP Alvares Cabral.[8]
Exercise GOOD HOPE III 2008[9] Task Group 501, composed of South African and German Naval vessels, commenced on Exercise Good Hope III. Exercise Good Hope III is a multinational exercise between the German Armed Forces (Navy and Air Force) and the SANDF (mainly the Navy and Air Force) taking place in the Cape Town, Simon’s Town and Overberg area.
Exercise IBSAMAR I 2008[10] Exercise ISBSAMAR was an exercise between the navies of India, Brazil and South Africa (The IBSA countries)
Exercise Atlasur VII 2008[11] Exercise ATLASUR is a biannual, joint and combined maritime exercise between the Navies of South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay[12]
Exercise Good Hope IV February 2010 Bilateral naval exercise between South Africa and Germany.[13]
Exercise Good Hope V March 2012 Bilateral naval exercise between South Africa and Germany.[14]
Exercise Atlasur IX between 24 September to 10 October 2012 Multinational maritime exercise between the navies of South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.[15]
Exercise Ibsamar III between 10 and 26 October 2012 Trilateral naval exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa along with.[16]
Operation Copper 2011-present Anti-piracy deployment in the Mozambique Channel. All four Valour-class frigates, SAS Drakensberg, and two of the SAN's offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) have intermittently spent time on station since the operation began.[17]

References[edit]

External links[edit]