SAS Amatola

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

SAS Amatola (F145) in 2009
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
General characteristics
Class and 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)
  • 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 (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 152
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Surveillance Radar: Thales Naval France MRR-3D NG G-band multi-role radar
  • Optical Radar Tracker: 2 Reutech RTS 6400 monopulse X-band (I/J bands) combined radar and optronics trackers
  • Electro-optical Tracker: Reutech Electro-optical tracker
  • Identification Friend or Foe: Tellumat Integrated Naval IFF system
  • Target Designation Sights: M-Tek Target Designation Sights
  • Sonar: Thales UMS4132 Kingklip sonar
  • Obstacle avoidance sonar: MDS 3060
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ESM/ECM: Saab Grintek Avitronics SME 100/200 ESM (Intercept and Jammer) & ELINT
  • Decoys: 2 Saab Grintek Avitronics MRL Super Barricade chaff launchers (96 decoys)
Aircraft carried: 1 × SuperLynx 300 (can carry 2)
Aviation facilities:

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]


The vessels of the class 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.

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 Amatola arrived from Kiel after accompanying the submarine Manthatisi to Simon's Town on her maiden voyage.[4]

Notable Deployments

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.

Exercise GOOD HOPE 2 2006SAS 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 2006SAS Amatola escorted the first of the three new Class 209 submarines to SA[6]
Exercise INTEROP WEST 2006Deployment to Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Soa Tome Islands.
Exercise BOST 2007Completion 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, HMCS Toronto, HDMS Olfert Fischer and NRP Álvares 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 2010Bilateral naval exercise between South Africa and Germany.[13]
Exercise Good Hope V March 2012Bilateral naval exercise between South Africa and Germany.[14]
Exercise Atlasur IX between 24 September to 10 October 2012Multinational maritime exercise between the navies of South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.[15]
Exercise Ibsamar III between 10 and 26 October 2012Trilateral naval exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa along with.[16]
Operation Copper 2011–presentAnti-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]


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.