SAS Amatola (F145)

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SAS Amatola (F145) in 2009
Career SAN Ensign
Name: SAS Amatola
Ordered: 3 December 1999
Laid down: 6 August 2001
Launched: 6 June 2002
Commissioned: 16 February 2006
Status: in active service, as of 2024
General characteristics
Class and type: Valour-class frigate
Displacement: 3,700 long tons (3,759 t)
Length: 121 m (397 ft 0 in)
Beam: 16.34 m (53 ft 7 in)
Draught: 5.95 m (19 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: CODAG WARP
2 × Diesels 5,920 kW (7,939 hp) each
2 shafts
1 × Gas turbine 20,000 kW (26,820 hp)
1 waterjet
Speed: 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)
Complement: 117
Armament: • 1 × Otobreda 76 mm gun
• 2 × 35 mm LIW (Denel) 35DPG dual purpose twin-barreled guns
• 2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon Mk1
• 8 × MBDA MM40 Exocet Block 2 SSM (2×4-cell launchers)
• 16 × Umkhonto SAM (2×8-cell vertical launchers)
Aircraft carried: 1 × SuperLynx 300 (can carry 2)

SAS Amatola (F145) is the first of four Valour class frigates for the South African Navy.


They were manufactured by the European South African Corvette Consortium (ESACC), consisting of the German Frigate Consortium (Blohm+Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl and Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werf), African Defence Systems (part of the French Thales defence group) and a number of South African companies.

The ships were built to the MEKO modular design concept, and are designated by the manufacturer as the MEKO A-200SAN class. Some controversy exists as to the class type of the vessel, with both the manufacturer and the South African Navy referring to her as a "corvette", but other similar vessels in other navies being referred to as frigates. Some have claimed that the use of the word "corvette" was a political decision made by the South African government to ease criticism of the procurement of the vessels.

As with all the other warships of the Valour class, the Amatola is named after a famous South African battle. In this case, a series of battles between the Xhosa nation and [Great Britain]] along the Amatola mountain range in the Eastern Cape area.

The SAS Amatola was built at the Blohm + Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Germany, and she arrived in South Africa on 4 June 2003. She was next fitted out with her various weapons and electronic systems, and weapons integration trials were begun in October 2004. This was followed by the warship's commissioning on 16 February 2006.

On 7 April 2006 the SAS Amatola arrived from Kiel after accompanying the new Submarine S101 to Simon's Town on her maiden voyage. The SABC TV reporter Lee Manas interviewed Defence Minister Terror Lekota on that occasion.

This warship's commanding officer is Captain Guy Jamieson.

During 2007, this vessel became the first South African frigate in decades to take part in the Royal Navy's Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) programme, however without any embarked Super Lynx 300 helicopters, sinced these had not been delivered by the Westland company at the time.

Notable Deployments

Exercise GOOD HOPE 2 2006

Escort to S101 Submarine 2006

Exercise INTEROP WEST 2006

Deployment to Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Soa Tome Islands.

Exercise BOST 2007

Completion of British Operational Sea Training (BOST) programme, in the UK, with Royal Navy.

NATO Exercise AMAZOLO 2007

Exercise GOOD HOPE 3 2008

Task Group 501, comprising of South African and German Naval vessels commenced on EXERCISE GOOD HOPE III. EXERCISE GOOD HOPE III is a multinational exercise between the German Armed Forces (Navy and Air Force) and the SANDF (mainly the Navy and Air Force) taking place in the Cape Town, Simon’s Town and Overberg area.

Exercise IBSAMAR I 2008

Exercise ATLASUR VII 2008