Armscor holds bidders meeting for frigate waterjet study


Armscor recently held a bidders’ conference on the functional study for the improvement of the waterjet propulsion system on the South African Navy’s four Valour class frigates.

The meeting took place on 13 June and was attended by Armscor and South African Navy project team members, including Captain (SAN) Michael Girsa, the Project Officer for Project Syne covering the mid-life upgrade of the frigates.

Bidders in attendance included Origen Engineering Solutions and Electrowave. Cape Town-based Origen specialises in failure analysis, fatigue and fracture mechanics, dynamic and residual stress measurement (strain gauging) and forensic engineering services. Electrowave provides installation services, specialist engineering services and system solutions to clients that own and operate ships, drilling rigs and other offshore platforms. It was launched in Cape Town in 1996.

Armscor on 18 May issued a Request for Offer, closing on 22 June, for a feasibility study on the frigates’ waterjet system to “improve the treatment and prevention of corrosion”. The RFO states that new developments in corrosion prevention and protective coatings should be considered to save equipment replacement or repair costs. “Hence, a requirement exists to address the treatment and prevention of corrosion on the FSG [Frigate, Small, Guided Missile) during the mid-life upgrade/capability sustainment project.”
“The waterjet on board the FSG has been identified to be prone to severe re-occurring corrosion. Non destructive testing (NDT) reports provide insight into the history and severity of corrosion occurrence and related repair solutions of the waterjet on the different FSGs… Although there are various opinions in terms of the types, causes and possible solutions to the corrosion, a study within Project Syne is required to investigate how the SAN can improve the treatment and prevention of corrosion inside the waterjet.”

Consequently Armscor is looking for a study to allow the Integrated Project Team to devise a solution to improve the waterjet system and make it more resistant and maintainable with regards to corrosion.

During the meeting this month the Armscor Project Manager noted that this is the third time the tender has been issued, as the previous two were cancelled, and there were quite a few bidders showing interest in the project. The project engineer showed pictures of the affected areas of the waterjets to bidders, who later viewed the waterjets aboard the SAS Amatola in dry dock.

Project Syne, to be initiated in 2017/18, will take place over a decade to extend the Valour class frigates’ service lives beyond 2035. It is expected that the guns, combat management suite and radar system will be upgraded, amongst other items.