SAS Isandlwana

SAS Isandlwana (F146) is the second of four Valour-class frigates for the South African Navy built by the European South African Corvette Consortium. SAS Isandlwana was named after the Battle of Isandlwana at a ceremony held in Kiel in December 2002, by Deputy Defence Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.[1]

SAS Isandlwana at Valparaiso, Chile on 1 December 2006
South Africa
Name: SAS Isandlwana
Namesake: Battle of Isandlwana
Operator: South African Navy
Ordered: 3 December 1999
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Kiel
Laid down: 28 October 2001
Launched: 5 December 2002
Commissioned: 20 July 2006
Homeport: Simonstown
Status: Ship 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:


SAS Isandlwana was manufactured by the European South African Corvette Consortium (ESACC), consisting of the German Frigate Consortium (Blohm+Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl and Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft), African Defence Systems (part of the French Thales defense group) and a number of South African companies.[2]

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 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 Isandlwana was built at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyards in Kiel, Germany, and she arrived in South Africa on 25 February 2004.[3]

In 2007, SAS Isandlwana took part in the Atlasur Exercise in cooperation with the fleets of Brazil and Chile.[4]


As with all the other ships of the Valour class, Isandlwana is named after a famous South African battle or instance of great valour. In this case the famous Battle of Isandlwana between the Zulu nation and the British Empire, at the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu War.

Notable deployments

  • Exercise Atlasur VI[5]
  • Expo Naval in Chile[6]
  • Exercise Amazolo[7]
  • Exercise Red Lion[8]
  • Exercise Good Hope III[9]
  • Exercise Ibsamar I[10]
  • Exercise Atlasur VII[11]


  1. South African Navy Ships Archived 2011-12-25 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "MEKO A Class Combat Ship Family - Naval Technology". Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  3. "Valour-class Frigates". Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  4. "First black commander for frigate". News24. 2007-03-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  5. People's Daily Online - South African navy joins exercise with South American nations
  6. "SAS Isandlwana on her way home from South America". Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  7. "Ports & Ships Maritime News". Archived from the original on 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  8. "Navy uses ex German minesweeper for target practice". Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  9. "German ships here for joint exercise Operation Good Hope III". Archived from the original on 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  10. Operação IBSAMAR I Archived 2013-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "30 « July « 2008 « Marine BizTV". Archived from the original on 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
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