South African Navy Christens a New Corvette and a New Submarine

Released on Tuesday, June 15, 2004
South Africa
MM40 Exocet
ASW - Anti Submarine Warfare
CODAG-WARP - COmbined Diesel And Gas - Waterjet And Refined Propellers
The South African Navy christened the fourth MEKO A-200 SAN corvette, named MENDI, and the first of three U209 class submarines, named S101, at Howaldtswerke shipyards in Kiel, Germany.

The Mendi corvette is the last of four ships ordered by South Africa. The construction of this corvette started in 2001 and is expected to enter service in 2005. Blohm & Voss in Hamburg and Howaldtswerke in Kiel have built two corvettes each for the MEKO 200-A SAN program. The first corvette built in Kiel was named ISANDLWANA and entered service in February 2004.

The MEKO A-200 SAN corvettes feature 121 meters long, 16.34 meters wide, 3.4 meters deep, 100-man crew, and approximately 3,500 tons of displacement. The ships have been fitted with a new propulsion system called CODAG-WARP (COmbined Diesel And Gas - Waterjet And Refined Propellers) which combines propellers and waterjet propulsion. They have a maximum speed of 27 knots and a cruise speed of 20 knots.

The weapon system of MEKO A-200 SAN consists of Exocet anti-ship missiles, ESSM surface-to-air missiles, two naval guns, and two decoy launchers. A flight deck and hangar have been provided to operate up to two ASW helicopters. In addition, the ship has enhanced survivability thanks to its stealth characteristics such as reduced radar and magnetic signatures and lower noise emission levels than current analogue ships.

The S101 is a U209 class submarine type 1440 ordered along two additional boats. The diesel-electric powered submarine displaces 1,450 metric tons, is 62 meters long and operates with a 30-man crew. Its weaponry consists of eight-torpedo tubes. It has an integrated sonar and can be fitted with air independent fuel cell or Stirling propulsion systems.

The purchase of three U209 boats by South Africa is worth €700 million ($878 million) and includes investments in South African stainless steel industry as well as other economic developmental measures as offset.


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