The SAS Drakensberg's primary role is to support and assist naval vessels at
sea - thus enabling the SA Navy to deploy its forces for extensive periods over long
distances. She is designed and equipped to operate two large helicopters simultaneously.
Medical facilities include a fully equipped operating theatre and a four-berth ward.
Dedicated training facilities for junior officers include a gunroom and lecture room.
Carrying capacity includes the ability to carry 5 500 tons of diesel fuel,
210 tons of fresh water, 100 tons of dry provisions, over 30 tons of frozen victuals,
230 tons of containerized cargo or 1 000 tons of palletized and general cargo.
Fuel (40 tons per hour) and fresh water (15 tons per hour) can be transferred simultaneously
to a wide range of vessels. An on board plant enables the ship to produce some 50
000 litres of fresh water from sea water daily.
Another unique feature is the South African designed cargo handling system that includes
two lifts of 2,5 and 7,5 tons respectively, one 20-ton crane, four 2-ton cranes and a
5-ton hoist. Forklifts and pallet trucks are used to move cargo to the various positions
on the ship to facilitate transfer.
The SAS Drakensberg carries rigid hull inflatable boats and diving service boats.
These boats are used to transfer both personnel and logistic supplies to other ships or
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