Fact file: SAN readiness

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The SA Navy (SAN) rotates its vessels throughout their service lives to allow or both operational and maintenance periods. This allows the Navy to “sweat” its assets and ensure the reliable availability of ships.

Ships not in maintenance or in reserve – when they are also non-operational – are seldom at “war readiness” as this is both unnecessary when considering the military threat against SA (very low) and very expensive. Instead ships are mobilised to a required level of capability (LOC).

The required LOC for any naval vessel is determined by the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force.

The Navy’s capability model as five levels, namely:

NLOC: No LOC

SLOC: Safety LOC

BLOC: Basic LOC

FLOC: Functional LOC

OLOC: Operational LOC

Ships classified as FLOC or OLOC are deployable for operations.

A ship and the fleet’s LOC is a function of available budget, personnel, equipment, facilities and consumables.

The SAN’s four Valour-class frigates were in 2009 kept at the following LOCs:
1 x NLOC
1 x SLOC
1 x BLOC
1 x FLOC

The three Type 209 submarines were in 2009 kept at the following LOCs:
1 x NLOC
1 x BLOC
1 x FLOC

The three Warrior-class offshore patrol vessels (PV) and three River-class mine countermeasures/inshore PV were in 2009 kept at the following LOCs:
1 x NLOC
1 x BLOC
1 x FLOC



Pic: The SAS Isaac Dyobha, a SA Navy offsore patrol vessel,
pictured in March 2009.