Fact file: Antarctic Supply/Oceanographic Research Vessel

2711
Vessels of the class:                            
Name
Builder
Laid Down
Launched
Commissioned
SA Agulhas
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan
1977
 -
 -
    



Designation:
Steel Hulled, Ice strengthened Antarctic Supply/Oceanographic Research Vessel/ LRS Ice Class 1
Numbers:                     
1. 
Main contractor:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Cost:                                                   
Ship`s company:                                              
138 comprising 40 crew and 98 scientific/other staff.
Major dimensions & weights:
·         Displacement:                                
·         Growth potential:                
·         Length:                                          
·         Beam:                                            
·         Draught:                                        
·         1836.88mt.
·         Not known.
·         111.95m.
·         18.05m.
·         6.045m.
Hull:                             
Steel, strengthened
Survivability:    
Not known.           
Main machinery:                                                 
Mitsubishi diesel.
Performance:
·         Output, max (diesels):                    
·         Speed, max:                                  
·         Range, miles:                     
·         Endurance:                        
·         4476 kW.  
·         14 knots.
·         15,000nm at 12.5 knots.
·         90 days.
Electronics:                                          
·         Radars:      
·         Sonar:                                           
·         Other:          
·         Not known.
·         Not known.
·         Not known. 
Armament:
·         Missiles:      
·         Guns:                    
·         Torpedoes:                       
·         Helicopters:          
·         None.
·         None.
·         None.
·         Two seconded SAAF Denel Oryx helicopters.
Furnishings:                                         
Not known.
Expected life-time:                               
30 years
Comment:        
The SA Agulhas is South Africa’s polar research vessel. She has been in service for almost thirty years and is nearing the end of her term of service.
In September 2005 Environmental Affairs & Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said that as “part of our long-term ship replacement strategy, we have also recently commenced with a feasibility study to replace the polar supply and research ship SA Agulhas by means of a Public Private Partnership.  The project has been registered with National Treasury and Transaction Advisors have been appointed to assist the department. The study is due for completion in April 2006.[1]” Nothing has been heard on the subject since.
The Agulhas is used to service the three SA National Antarctic Programme research bases in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica as well as various research voyages. See also: http://www.sanap.org.za/transport.html


[1]DEAT press release, September 23, 2005, Victoria Mxenge Protection Vessel Delivered, R440m Environmental Fleet Now Ready to Protect SA Waters, http://www.environment.gov.za/NewsMedia/MedStat/2005Sep23/23092005_2.htm