SAS Spear

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History
South African Navy ensignSouth Africa
Name: SAS Spear, ex Maria van Riebeeck
Namesake: Maria van Riebeeck
Operator: South African Navy
Builder: Dubigeon-Normandy, Nantes, France
Laid down: 14 March 1968
Launched: 18 March 1969
Christened: by Elize Botha (wife of P.W. Botha)
Commissioned: 22 June 1970
Renamed: SAS Spear, 1999
Homeport: Simon's Town
Identification: Pennant number:S97
Fate: Scrapped, 2003
General characteristics
Class and type: Daphné-class submarine
Displacement:
  • 869 t (855 long tons), surfaced
  • 1,043 t (1,027 long tons), submerged
Length: 57.8 m (190 ft)
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft)
Draught: 4.6 m (15 ft)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 1,300 bhp (969 kW) (diesel)
  • 2 × 1,600 bhp (1,193 kW) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph), surfaced
  • 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph), submerged
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph), (snorkelling)
Complement: 6 officers and 45 ratings
Armament: 12 × 550 mm (21.7 in) torpedo tubes (8 bow, 4 stern)

SAS Spear (pennant number: S97), initially known as the SAS Maria van Riebeeck, was a Daphné-class submarine of the South African Navy (SAN). Built in France during the 1960s, the boat was the SAN's first submarine. It was scrapped in June–July 2003.

Description[edit]

The submarine displaced 869 metric tons (855 long tons) surfaced and 1,043 metric tons (1,027 long tons) submerged. It measured 57.8 meters (189 ft 8 in) long, had a beam of 6.8 meters (22 ft 4 in) and a draft of 4.6 meters (15 ft 1 in). For surface running, the boat was powered by two SEMT Pielstick 1,300-brake-horsepower (969 kW) diesel engines, each driving a single propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 1,600-brake-horsepower (1,193 kW) electric motor. Spear could reach 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph) on the surface and 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) underwater. While snorkelling, the boat had a range of 4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph). It was armed with a dozen 550 mm (21.7 in) torpedo tubes, eight in the bow and four in the stern. Spear had a complement of 6 officers and 41 ratings.[1]

Construction and career[edit]

The boat was laid down at the Nantes shipyard of Dubigeon-Normandie on 14 March 1968, launched on 18 March 1969 and commissioned on 22 June 1970.[1]

On 20 August 1970, Maria van Riebeeck collided with the French submarine Galatée (also a member of the Daphné class) off Toulon. Both submarines were badly damaged, with Galatée being forced to run aground to avoid sinking.[2]

The boat received an upgraded sonar and electronics during a mid-life update that was completed in 1992.[3] Spear was broken up in Simon's Town by SA Metal and Machinery Co. (Pty) Ltd. during June–July 2003.[4]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Moore, p. 400
  2. ^ "World's Navy News". Warship International. Vol. VII no. 4. 31 December 1970. pp. 314–15. 
  3. ^ Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon, p. 335
  4. ^ "SAS Assegaai to be preserved as museum". DefenseWeb. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 

References[edit]

  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7. 
  • Moore, John, Captain RN, ed. (1981). Jane's Fighting Ships 1981–82. London: Jane's Pub. Co. ISBN 0-7106-0728-8. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Du Toit, Allan (1992). South Africa's Fighting Ships: Past and Present. Rivonia, South Africa: Ashanti Publishing. ISBN 1-874800-50-2.