End of the road for SAS Adam Kok


SAS Adam Kok (P1563) started life as a Minister Class strikecraft, was later planned to be refurbished as an offshore patrol vessel (OPV), ended up being towed to Simon’s Town and her days are now numbered.

The vessel is deemed surplus to SA Navy (SAN) needs, with Armscor’s Defence Disposal Solutions (DDS) tasked with “sale and/or destruction” including the propeller shafts. The Armscor tender number is E/2021/132 and interested parties have until 18 March to submit bids.

P1563 first entered service in the SA Navy in April 1978 as one of the then Minister Class strikecraft. She was built by the then Israel Shipyards and carried the name SAS Frederick Creswell, minister of defence in the Union of South Africa from 1924 to 1933. When the ANC won South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, apartheid era names were declared off limits and the original nine hull-strong Minister Class was replaced by the Warrior Class.

Adam Kok was named in honour of the Griqua leader who led his people from what is now Free State to found Griqualand East. He was born in the then Cape Colony in 1811 and died in 1875. His name continues on in the maritime service under the pennant number P1572 with the new multi-mission inshore patrol vessels (MMIPVs) continuing the Warrior Class tradition in the SAN.

With the exception of three – two still serving – and one, according to the SAN, “in reserve”, six strikecraft were scrapped. This saw some used as targets and others sold for scrap.

When Adam Kok was towed from the former SAN strikecraft flotilla headquarters at the then Naval Base Durban in 2015 to SAN fleet headquarters in Simon’s Town, the possibility of further utilisation was mooted but never materialised. She was originally earmarked for OPV refurbishment but this never happened, leaving SAS Isaac Dyobha (P1565), SAS Galeshewe (P1567) and SAS Makhanda (P1569) for the strikecraft/OPV modification. Galeshewe is officially in reserve with Dyobha and Makhanda still on fleet strength. Makhanda has been part of South Africa’s commitment to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission in Mozambique – Operation Vikela.

The maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is due to take the first of three MMIPVs into service in the first quarter of this year. Damen Shipyards in Cape Town is contracted to build all three the new fleet additions.