Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-03-14 Reporter: Sapa

Navy to Receive Its Third Corvette



Mail and Guardian

Date 2004-03-14



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The South African National Navy will receive the third in a series of four corvettes purchased under the controversial arms deal from a shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, on Monday.

A statement released on Saturday by the shipyard, Blohm and Vos, said the SAS Spioenkop would arrive in South Africa in late May.

In the meantime, before setting sail for home, the crew will spend several weeks training emergency procedures with the German Navy.

"In Simon's Town, the SAS Spioenkop will be fitted out with combat and related electronic systems," the statement read.

So far two of the corvettes have been received -- the SAS Amatola and the SAS Isandhlwana. The SAS Mendi will be the last of the four to be delivered.

"The SAS Spioenkop is a MEKOAE A-200 type vessel. In addition to very advanced stealth features, the MEKOAE A-200 class is characterised by a revolutionary propulsion system comprising a water-jet drive in addition to two propellers so as to meet the specific requirements of navies," said the statement.

"A characteristic feature of the silhouette of the ship is the missing funnel. The exhaust of the diesel engines and the gas turbine escapes after having been cooled down either below or just above the waterline. Thus, the corvette is almost invisible for infrared systems." Sapa

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail and Guardian.