SAS Spear

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South African Navy ensignSouth Africa
Name: SAS Spear, ex Maria van Riebeeck
Namesake: Maria van Riebeeck
Operator: South African Navy
Ordered: 1967
Builder: Dubigeon-Normandy shipyard, Nantes
Laid down: 14 March 1968
Launched: 18 March 1969 by Elize Botha (wife of P.W. Botha)
Christened: Maria van Riebeeck, S97
Completed: 22 June 1970
Renamed: SAS Spear (1999)
Homeport: Simon's Town
Status: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class and type: Daphné-class submarine
Displacement: 860 tons surface, 700 tons standard, 1034 tons submerged
Length: 57.8 m (190 ft)
Beam: 6.75 m (22.1 ft)
Draught: 5.23 m (17.2 ft)
Installed power: 2 SEMTPielstick 450kW diesel generators, 2 × 80 cell batteries
Propulsion: 2 Jeumont-Schneider elect propulsion motors
Speed: 13.5 knots (25 km/h)surface, 16 knots (30 km/h)submerged
Range: 4,300 nautical miles (8,000 km) at 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h) snorkelling, 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km) at 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h) surface
Complement: 6 Officers and 45 Ratings, and 6 to 10 trainees
Armament: 12×550mm torpedoes, 8 Forward and 4 Aft

The SAS Spear (S97), formerly known as the SAS Maria van Riebeeck, was a Daphné-class submarine of the South African Navy (SAN). It was the SAN's first submarine. It was decommissioned in 2003 and subsequently scrapped.[1]

In 1967,[1] after nearly two years of negotiations,[citation needed] an order was placed with the French Government for three Daphné class submarines. The first of these submarines was the SAS Maria van Riebeek. It was laid down at the Nantes shipyard of Dubigeon-Normandie on 14 March 1968, was launched on 18 March 1969 and completed on 22 June 1970.[2]

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.[3]


  1. ^ a b "SAS Assegaai to be preserved as museum". defenceWeb. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Blackman 1971, p. 282.
  3. ^ "World's Navy News". Warship International. Vol. VII no. 4. 31 December 1970. pp. 314–315. 
  • Blackman, Raymond V. B. (1971). Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.