SAS Manthatisi

SAS Manthatisi (S101) is a Heroine-class submarine currently in service with the South African Navy. SAS Manthatisi is named after the female warrior chief of the Batlokwa tribe. The Executive Mayor of Naledi Local Municipality and the godmother of the S101, Ms. Ruth Segomotso Mompati, announced the name of the submarine at a ceremony in Simon's Town.[2]

South Africa
Name: SAS Manthatisi
Namesake: An 18th Century Batlokwa chieftainess
Operator: South African Navy
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Kiel[1]
Launched: 15 June 2004
Commissioned: 3 November 2005
Homeport: Simon's Town
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Type: Heroine-class submarine
Displacement: 1,454 t, submerged
Length: 62 m
Beam: 7.6 m
Draft: 5.8 m
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, 4 diesels, 1 shaft, 6100 shp
  • 10 knots (19 km/h), surfaced;
  • 21.5 knots (40 km/h), submerged
  • 11,000 nmi. at 10 knots, surfaced,
  • (20,000 km at 20 km/h);
  • 8,000 nmi. at 10 knots, snorkeling,
  • (15,000 km at 20 km/h);
  • 400 nmi. at 4 knots, submerged
  • (740 km at 7 km/h)
Test depth: 500 m
Complement: 30
Sensors and
processing systems:

Sonar: STN Atlas CSU-90; hull mounted and flank arrays Radar: Surface search I-band

Optics: Zeiss non-hull penetrating optronic mast
Electronic warfare
& decoys:

ESM: Grintek Avitronics , intercept + radar warning receiver

ELINT: Saab S/UME-100 tactical electronic support measures


South Africa placed a contract for three Type 209/1400 submarines in July 2000 on Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Thyssen Nordseewerke. The Type 209/1400 submarines replace the French-built Daphné-class submarines, SAS Spear, SAS Assegaai and SAS Umkhonto which were decommissioned in 2003. The Heroine class are sometimes considered to be South Africa's first "true" submarines, as they were more suited to being underwater than the Daphné models.[3]

Manthatisi arrived in Simon's Town on 8 April 2006, accompanied by the Valour-class frigate SAS Amatola (F145).[4]

Operational history

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, German tanker Spessart, HNLMS Evertsen, HMCS Toronto, HDMS Olfert Fischer and NRP Álvares Cabral. The Manthatisi managed to penetrate an anti-submarine screen of seven ships, including the two South African Valour-class frigates SAS Amatola (F145) and SAS Isandlwana (F146) and the USS Normandy. After having ‘sunk’ the target being protected by the surface screen, the submarine turned on the surface warships and ‘sank’ each of them as well.[5]

Manthatisi was withdrawn from service in 2007 and placed in reserve as part of the SAN's plan to maintain only two out of its three submarines in service. She began a refit in 2010, and re-entered service in October 2014.[6]


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