To: News Editors
From: SA Navy
Date: 03 November 2005
SA NAVY'S FIRST TYPE 209 SUBMARINE COMMISSIONED IN
Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota says the
commissioning of the new submarine, S101, for the South
African Navy represents the best of naval cutting edge
technology both afloat and under the sea.
He was speaking in Kiel, Germany, during the
commissioning ceremony of the first of three Type 209
submarines procured for the South African Navy.
The submarine was symbolically handed over to
Minister Lekota, by Dr Popo Molefe, Chairman of
the ARMSCOR board.
Minister Lekota said the new submarine would go a
long way to ensure that South Africa has the requisite
maritime defence capability to provide the highest level
protection for South Africa's economy and people, while
creating the opportunity to rejuvenate the SA National
Defence Force with young talent and diversity in terms
of both race and gender.
"Putting South Africa's security requirements
into context we must consider that 98% of the country's
imports and exports pass through our harbours," he
said. "South Africa is therefore a maritime
economy and our strategic geographical positioning as a
major international sea route makes it all the more
important to have the best possible equipment to secure
all of our interests."
The submarine, the Type 209, is one of three boats
ordered by the SA government to replace the obsolete
DAPHNE class submarines, the last of which was taken out
of service in November 2003.
Ownership of the submarine transferred from the
shipyard to the SA Navy on 20 September 2005 when the
Delivery Protocol was signed. A framed copy of
this protocol was also officially handed over to the
Minister at the ceremony.
The initial commissioning ceremony is a historic
occasion during which the South African flag is raised
on board for the first time and she is manned for the
first time by a fully South African crew.
Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu,
handed over command to Commander Gary Kretschmer.
S101 is expected to sail on 14 November for the first
time under the SA flag. She will be conducting sea
training and a work-up period prior to the submarine's
departure for South Africa where she is expected to
arrive in late March next year. She will sail home
under own power escorted by the combat support ship SAS
South Africa is one of 13 countries to procure the
Type 209 submarine, which is considered to be one of the
most successful conventionally powered class of boats in
the world today.
S101 was built in Kiel while her sisters, S102 and
S103, are under construction in Emden. S102 is
nearing completion having been launched in April this
year. She is expected to commission in mid
2006. S103 is due for launching in 2006 and will
commission a year later.
Issued by: Ministry of Defence.
Contact: Mr Sam Mkhwanazi
Contact number: 083 628 0858