Fact file: Drakensberg-class combat support ship

4863

The Drakensberg is the largest ship built in South Africa to date and reportedly the first naval vessel to be completely designed in the country. In addition to her replenishment role she is employed on search and rescue duties, patrol and surveillance duties and has considerable potential for use in disaster relief.

 

 

Ships of the class:

Name

Builder

Laid Down

Launched

Commissioned:

SAS Drakensberg (A301)

Sandock Austral.

August 1984.

April 24, 1986.

November 11, 1987.

 

 

Designation:

Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR1)

Number:

One.

Main contactor:

Sandock Austral, Durban. (Now defunct).

Cost:

Not known.

Associated project names:

Brutes (Two-part half-life upgrade; scheduled for 2009 and 2011).

Ship’s company:

115 (including 14 officers2), 12 aircrew plus 12 officers under training.

Major dimensions & weights:

  • Displacement:

  • Growth potential:

  • Length:

  • Beam:

  • Draught:

  • Cargo:

  • 12,500mt (full load), 6000mt (“light”).

  • nn.

  • 147m.

  • 19.5m.

  • 7.9m.

  • 5500mt fuel; 750mt ammunition and dry stores, and 210mt fresh water. The ship can make 50,000 litres of fresh water a day.

Survivability:

Not known.

Main machinery:

Two BMW V12 diesel delivering 13.2mW to a single shaft fitted with a variable pitch propeller.

Bow thruster.

Cranes:

 

Two lifts of 2.5mt and 7.5mt respectively, one 20mt crane, four 2mt cranes and one 5mt hoist.

Performance:

  • Output, max (diesels):

  • Speed, max:

  • Range, miles:

  • Endurance:

 

  • 16, 320 hp (12 MW).

  • 20+ kts.

  • 8500 at 15kts.

  • Three months.

Electronics:

  • Countermeasures:

    • Decoys:

    • ESM/ECM:

  • Combat management system:

  • Weapons control:

  • Radars:

    • Air/surface search:

    • Fire control:

    • IFF:

    • Navigation:

  • Sonar:

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

  • Not known.

Armament:

  • Missiles:

    • SSM: none.

    • SAM: none.

  • Guns:

 

  • Torpedoes:

  • Autonomous underwater vehicles:

  • Helicopters:

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV):

  • Landing craft:

  • Boats:

 

 

  • None.

  • None.

  • Four Oerlikon 20 mm GAM-BO1; six Browning 12.7 mm HMG.

  • None.

  • None.

  • Two Denel SA330H/J Oryx.

  • None.

  • Two Delta 80 Landing Craft Utility.

  • Two Rigid-hull Inflatable Boats, two diving support boats.

Expected life-time:

Not known.

Comment:

The Drakensberg is the largest ship built in South Africa to date and reportedly the first naval vessel to be completely designed in the country. In addition to her replenishment role she is employed on search and rescue duties, patrol and surveillance duties and has considerable potential for use in disaster relief.

Replenishment at sea is from two abeam positions or from astern. She is also equipped for jackstay and vertical replenishment. She has two helicopter landing spots, one forward and one astern. Her main secondary role is the transport of consumables, but she can also be used to support small craft and transport a limited number of troops (about 80).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Auxiliary, Replenishment Oiler.



2 The rest of the crew breaks down to: eight warrant officers, 27 senior rates and 66 junior rates. During deployments an intelligence officer, finance officer, PRO, photographer and seven medical staff are added.