Queen Modjadji preparing for next misssion


The South African attack submarine SAS Queen Modjadji 1 is back in the water and is preparing to participate in next month’s international naval exercises Atlasur IV and Ibsamar. The boat is fully operational, The New Age newspaper has reported.

Ibsamar is a biannual exercise involving IBSA partners SA, India and Brazil. Atlasur is also is a two-yearly, joint and combined maritime exercise between the navies of South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The first such exercise was held in Argentinean waters in 1993 and laid the foundation for a combined maritime doctrine between the nations.

Fleet public relations officer Cdr Cara Pratten stressed the submarine did not go out of commission as a result of the incident. “Non-destructive testing was conducted… “The repair involves the replacement of a small section of the submarine’s outer shield.” Beeld newspaper reports the repair will be carried out during the boat’s next maintenance cycle as the dent caused in the outer hull by an collision with the seabed last month has no effect on the watertight integrity of the vessel or apparently its seakeeping qualities.

Naval sources and SA defence analyst Helmoed-Römer Heitman have observed that accidents and incidents involving submarines are not uncommon. The Canadian submarine HMCS Corner Brook was extensively damaged last year June off Vancouver in a similar grounding. Other recent accidents involving submarines include a fire aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in port at Murmansk in December and the HMS Astute, lead-ship of a new class of British nuclear attack submarines running aground off the Isle of Skye in October. She was undergoing sea trials at the time.