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South African Indigenous Naval Projects?

kaiserbill

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Just to fill in some of the blanks with some further info I have found out.

Project Falcon was the project for the aquisition of frigates. This project name applied originally to the frigates of a domestic design, but this was put on hold in 1990, just as steel was to be cut. The same project name was then reapplied a little while later for a Spanish design, stopped it appears in 1995.

Project Sitron then later took over resulting in the 4 Meko Valour class frigates.

Still would be interesting to see the original domestic or indigineous design though.
 

JFC Fuller

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kaiserbill said:
Still would be interesting to see the original domestic or indigineous design though.
It sure would! Even just some details about the proposed armament and sensors would be good...
 

Abraham Gubler

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Some interesting factoids about the Type 209 deal.

The design was supplied to the South African Embassy in Bonn via 12 containers of microfilm between October 1984 and June 1985. Submarine designer Howaldtswerke and an engineering group, Ingenieurkontor Lubeck, were each fined $27,000 in court proceedings (nice profit margin!). Documents presented to the investigative committee indicated that Howaldtswerke officials, including chief executive Klaus Ahlers, believed Bonn had given them the green light to proceed with the South African deal. But Government officials, including Chancellor Kohl, testified that they had not condoned the deal.
 

kaiserbill

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Interesting AG. So does anyone know for certain what type of Type 209 was looked at for certain?. I noted early in the thread that there was an article that stated it was the Type 209 1650, similar to the Indian versions.

So obviously South Africa still is the owner of these blueprints? Is there a reason they didn't build them with open German assistance after sanctions were dropped instead of buying them straight as they ended up doing? Or is this due to the unsaid behind the scenes shenanigans that accompany many arms deals? Or an expense/construction issue?
 

Abraham Gubler

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kaiserbill said:
So obviously South Africa still is the owner of these blueprints? Is there a reason they didn't build them with open German assistance after sanctions were dropped instead of buying them straight as they ended up doing? Or is this due to the unsaid behind the scenes shenanigans that accompany many arms deals? Or an expense/construction issue?
From what I’ve been able to glean the plan was to build the Type 209s at Sandock Austral in Durban. Production of the first hull was to have started around 1990. The delay in starting production from the acquisition of plans was because of the need to develop a combat system and ship control system for the submarine. These programs were apparently quite successful and the boat was going to be built to a high standard. But the peace in Angola/Namibia and the end of Apartheid resulted in a huge cut to defence spending and the submarine project and many others (Project Carver jet fighter, nuclear weapons, etc) were cancelled.

As to the subsequent acquisition of Type 209s from Germany this order came 10 years later by which the domestic capability to build the ships and their combat systems had atrophied. Quite simply South Africa couldn’t do it without considerable additional investment. However possessing a copy of the design and their past experience with Howaldtswerke would have made the SAN a very well informed customer able to get the most from this contract.
 

kaiserbill

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On the subject of the South African corvettes, I remember reading in Janes and Proceedings in the late 1980's that South Africa was about to embark on a local construction programme.
I have to ad lib here as I have no access to my library, but both publications writeups suggested that these local vessels were to be armed with a mixture of guns and missiles, with perhaps the Albatross SAM, and that vessels of around 1500 tons were well within the scope of local industry.
Looking at these descriptions got me thinking, just as Sealord implied, about what sort of weaponry and capabilities would have been shipped. Clearly the above mentioned publications were just speculating on the actual design, but certain assumtions can be fairly accurate I reckon:

These vessels were to basically provide better blue water capabilities than the strike craft. So the vessels would have been armed with the 76mm Oto Melara gun, single or double installations. The SSM complement would logically and obviously been the Skerpioen, or Gabriel, as also used on the Strikecraft. The referral in the publications above to the Albatross SAM is very innaccurate IMHO, and most likely was simply chosen as the most likely of a bunch of unlikely candidates due to the arms embargo. However, the SAHV was just coming around, and this was developed to be used in land (Rooikat) and sea applications. (Umkhonto)

It would have been inconceivable to turn these boats out un-equipped with a SAM, so the SAHV/Umkhonto was probably part of the equipment plan at some stage. I'd imagine that the very same would apply to the twin 35mm DPG that was again designed for dual land (rooikat) and sea (Valour Class) purposes. The development timeframe of these systems was eased as a result of the ending of Apartheid and the defence cuts. Almost every SAN warship was also equipped with 2 x 20mm cannon.

The South African Navy was concerned that the loss of the excellent ASW capabilities garnered from decades of excercises with the Royal Navy could be lost. Indeed, this was one of the primary reasons for the Corvette programme. So it stands to reason that some ASW capabilities would be shipped. I imagine triple Mk32 launchers, of which there were many in stock. The Limbo's would have not been feasible.

With this also in mind,I simply cannot imagine this boat without a helicopter.
Now, the SAAF did still operate Westland Wasps, but these were long in the tooth, so I'd imagine the only other two candidates to be the Alouette or the Oryx (Super Puma). The only vessel to operate the Alouette in the SAN is the SAS Protea. The Puma/Oryx, with foldable rotor, radar, and flotation bags has been used on SAN ships before. There seems to have been a programme toward a basic naval Oryx/Puma, so this seems to be the most logical type. Indeed, the Valour class have had Oryxes land on their flight decks, and the hangar height is certainly high enough to accommodate them, although I'm unsure of their hangar length.

So, with this in mind, we speculatively have a vessel that is equipped with 76mm, 35mm, and 20mm guns. Skerpioen/Gabriel SSM and SAHV/Umkhonto SAM, triple Mk32 torpedo tubes and Oryx/Puma helicopter. Indeed, both later Bazan and Yarrow proposals mirrored this relatively closely, with exceptions here and there.

The 2 articles above state only that vessels of around 1500 tons would easily be within local industry's scope, which is fairly obvious as the 13 000 ton SAS Drakensburg had just been launched at Sandock Austral. I suspect both articles have the same source with the same speculative assumtions. We now have the luxury of hindsight.

So what would be the size of a vessel thus equipped, and built to operate in the heavy seas off the South African coast? What were Bazan and Yarrow's proposal sizes and tonnage for the slightly later competition? The Valour Class are around 3700 tons. They were also classed as Corvettes originally, which seems to be a political ploy. I suspect these South African corvettes would have been more like Frigates, as they were sometimes described.

Comments on my reasoning, or lack thereof? ;)
 

Abraham Gubler

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In relation to the SAM the SAHV-3/ ZA-HVM/SAHV-IR/Umkhonto missile was originally developed under Project Spectre by Kentron in the 1980s as the new missile for the SAAF’s Altech Cactus 2000 upgrade. The SAHV-3 missile was flight tested in 1991-93 and the fire control system completed by 1994. South African industry was also producing the Reutech ETR-1100 fire control system an evolved solid state Super Fledermaus. The SAHV-3 missile was also to be used in the Army ZA-HVM (Rooikat chassis) alongside the ZA-35 for the mechanised battle group air defence program. This requirement was identified in 1983 with studies leading to full scale development of the ZA-35 and ZA-HVM in 1986. The first ZA-35 systems were completed by 1990 and fully integrated by 1991.

It stands to reason that if the Project Falcon ships were required to have a SAM then the SAHV-3 missile and either the Altech or Reutech fire control system would have provided it. However it is possible that no SAM could have been specified. The SAN had embraced the radar controlled, IR fused, rapid fire anti air capability of the 76mm OTO Gun for the Minister class and proposed President class upgrades. The SAHV-3 systems would have required a lot of work to be proven for maritime use which is quite different to the vehicle mounts of the SAAF and SA Army. Certainly it would not be ready for maritime use until later in the 1990s (assuming no post Apartheid peace dividend) which would be a few years after the first corvettes were commissioned.

PS The SAHV-IR was the SAHV-3 missile with the radar seeker replaced by the off the shelf two colour IR seeker from the Darter air to air missile. It was programmed to be fired lock on after launch (LOAL) expressly as a simplified air defence system that did not need a missile guidance system. Lock on before launch (LOBL) is available for short range engagements. SAHV-IR was first test fired in 1997 with target warning provided by Contraves Skyguard and looks like a post Apartheid economy measure to find a use for the missile without the unfunded, expensive radar guidance system. It was later developed in a vertical launch capacity as the Umkhonto for the Valour class.
 

TinWing

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kaiserbill said:
The 2 articles above state only that vessels of around 1500 tons would easily be within local industry's scope, which is fairly obvious as the 13 000 ton SAS Drakensburg had just been launched at Sandock Austral. I suspect both articles have the same source with the same speculative assumtions. We now have the luxury of hindsight.

So what would be the size of a vessel thus equipped, and built to operate in the heavy seas off the South African coast? What were Bazan and Yarrow's proposal sizes and tonnage for the slightly later competition? The Valour Class are around 3700 tons. They were also classed as Corvettes originally, which seems to be a political ploy. I suspect these South African corvettes would have been more like Frigates, as they were sometimes described.

Comments on my reasoning, or lack thereof? ;)
The "corvette" designation might not have been a "political ploy," since South Africa had ordered two A69 "avisos," which went to Argentina instead because of the embargo.

As far as the later post-Aparthheid orders, there were no apparent practical considerations to many defense contracts. I think we all know about the corruption allegations, without going into specifics.
 

glmm

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It has been quite a long time since I had a look at this forum for the last time, but I found this thread fascinating! A pity I didn`t got it sooner!

On the Bazan designs: Bazan produced a lot of prospective designs as any other shipyard, hoping to attract foreign customers, although the main customer is the Spanish Navy. After they build B&V corvette designs for Portugal in 1970s, the know-how gained was invested in newer designs, one of which, the DESCUBIERTA class, was bought by the Spanish Navy, then in need of a cheaper corvette/frigate design to replace the large number of old ships (some dating from the SCW!) being quickly discarded during the mid/late 1970s. The DESCUBIERTA was a successful design, both locally and in the international market, with two (originally ordered by the Spanish Navy as F-77 and F-78) sold to Egypt and one to Morocco. They were small, cheap to run due to their all diesel poweplant and packed and impressive punch for their size. However, they were demoted to OPVs in the 1990s when their short range proved to be a liability.

Based on the success of the DESCUBIERTA design, Bazan evolved it into the SUPER DESCUBIERTA series, which would have included an helicopter deck and hangar in the bigger design. This was offered for sale to Chile, but was rejected for several technical/industrial/political reasons including a perceived lack of stability. Of course, this was over 1800tm, so the design used for "inspiration" had to be something less ambitious.

On the Spanish naval relations with South Africa, it has been widely reported that in the early 1980s an offer to refit the South African DAPHNEs and built some F-70/AGOSTA subs was made either by the RSA or some intermediary; of course, the answer was a solid NO from the government.

On the TR-1700 and Argentina: Argentina has always claimed a large EEZ well past the Falkland Islands, so a large submarine was deemed necessary to patrol those waters. This was during the military government when ambitious military spending wasn`t challenged even at a time when the Argentine economy was already faltering. The 209 was deemed as unsuitable due to its small size and lack of endurance, so the TR-1700 design by Thyssen was chosen instead. The TR is a large conventional submarine, very roomy and with long endurance, both with diesel and electric power. The TR hull was to be used as the basis for a SSN employing a locally developed nuclear powerplant, but those (unrealistic) plans were effectively abandoned once Argentine ,military junta was overthrown.

Four hulls were to be built in Argentina and at least two were in an advanced construction stage when the program was abandoned due to lack of funding. The problem with the Argentine program was that all high value equipment and materials had to be purchased abroad (periscopes, torpedo tubes, sea valves, electronic equipment...) at a time there was little hard currency to spare. The items purchased for these locally built subs was used to keep the German made couple operational. There have been several rumors covering the sale of these subs, but little is really substantiated. In any case, the two TRs have showed to be very solid, easy to maintain and dependable subs. Both ran for more than 20 years before a deep refit, the first done in Brazil while the second boat is being refitted in Argentina right now. Spares from the unfinished subs have been used during these refits.

As it can be seem in the pictures of the Almirante Stormi yard published in this forum, one of the two 209s (the Falklands war veteran SAN LUIS) "lives" in the yard. Retired in the mid 1980s for a refit, she has been used as spare parts source for her sistership SALTA which is still operational. The hull has been well kept and not long ago deeply surveyed and felt good for 15-20 more years of service; one of the proposals is for SAN LUIS to be refitted replacing SALTA, which has been afloat for more than 30 years and its structurally less sound due to age and fatigue. There are also proposals to use the hollow hull of SAN LUIS as a memorial at Mar del Plata.... :-\
 

thebig C

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Some Nice info there Gorka!

Do you have any pics of the Super Descubierta? If I recall they have a beam of 34ft, the same as the Baptista De Andrade Class and the French A69 Avisios. Its interesting that stability was cited as a concern, because, one reason the French didn't stretch the A69, to include a landing deck/hangar, is that it was felt at 80m it was already at design capacity. There are a couple of A69 proposed designs on this forum but nothing ultimately came of them.

On a related note, regarding the Baptista De Andrade Class, South Africa set out to procure them in the early 1970s they were in the market for 6 vessels. However, only four were ordered, and there is mention of 2 additional vessels being built under liscence. I distinctly remember reading though, that the reason the numbers were cut is that the SAN added so much equipment to the origional design that cuts escalated significantly. Also, it mentioned that the design weighted in at approx 1800 tonnes. The Baptistas currently weight in the 1400-1600 range and have standard enough equipment. Was any further equipment ordered for these vessels, such as SAM/CIWS/SSM, but never fitted in Portugese service?!

Of note is that I remember the article mentioned this cost overrun as the specific reason why Defence Minister Botha took personal charge of the procurement process and insisted on the A69 (President Class?)....in that they were a standard off the shelf well armed design with little room or need for for costly additions.

C
 

glmm

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I have only seem a couple artist renditions od the SUPER DESCUBIERTA. The Albatros/Sea Sparrow launcher was fitted forward were the ASW mortar was in the original design, IIRC, with the helo pad an hanger in the rear were the Breda Bofors/Sea Sparrow launcher was in the DESCUBIERTA. The design was a bit top heavy and those changes surely didn`t improve things!

On the BAPTISTAs, I know several proposal were made to upgrade their equipment, but all fell through due to lack of funding. Exocet was at least considered in the 1980s.
 

Antonio

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I have only seem a couple artist renditions od the SUPER DESCUBIERTA
Gorka,

Do you have drawings of that "Super Descubierta" design to post it here?

Thanks in advance.

Antonio
 

thebig C

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Thanks Gorka:)

Do you know though, were there any further araments planned for the Baptistas before the new Portugese Government cancelled the South African order? That would tie in with the info I related above regarding the SA vessels being "significantly upspeced versus the Joao Chucintos in Portugese service.

BTW, what length were the Super Descubiertas? I am assuming the beam and draught were the same?

C
 

Brickmuppet

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Though it is an OPV rather than a frigate, this may be related to the SUPER DESCUBIERTA mentioned above.
via
http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?t=77295&page=2
 

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thebig C

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Thanks for that Blackmuppet. Could be, although, there is no indication of size. Some nice pics and info on that link:)
 

glmm

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Brickmuppet said:
Though it is an OPV rather than a frigate, this may be related to the SUPER DESCUBIERTA mentioned above.
via
http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?t=77295&page=2
This design seems to be based in the standard DESCUBIERTA design; note that retiring the Bofors guns and Aspide/sea Sparrow there is enough room for a helo pad.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the sole image I had of the Super Descubierta, but I remember the Aspide/sea Sparrow launcher was moved forwards of the bridge, so it wouldn`t fit in this design.

Will check in my parent`s next time I visit them as part of my book collection is still there!
 

kaiserbill

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Some interesting info regarding the indigineous projects, particularly regarding the project names. The article is in connection with the retirement of a member of the design team on the technical side.

Project Burlap - an indigenous corvette vessel.
Project Lumen - conversion of the Type 12 as mentioned earlier in this thread.
Project Foreshore - design of an indigenous frigate, that was ultimately translated post-Apartheid to Project Sitron.

1979 saw the start of Project BURLAP. Following the UN arms embargo in 1977 and the cancellation of the vessels being built in France, Project BURLAP was an “in-house” effort to design a corvette-size warship.
Sofyaan was appointed a Marine Draftsman in 1980 in what he considers the most satisfying period of his time at the Drawing Office.
To assist with Project BURLAP, overseas expertise in the form of shipbuilding draftsmen from Yarrow's Shipyard in Scotland were brought into the Drawing Office to assist with the design effort.
Sofyaan was working on vessel “auxiliary systems” which covered many varied topics such as sea and fresh water systems, lube oil, compressed air, and fuel.
He was then appointed as Design Draughtsman in 1983.
Project BURLAP was never realised, but the knowledge built up during the design effort was vital in the design of Project ENERGY which ultimately became SAS DRAKENSBERG. This was the first time that Sofyaan and the project team actually saw their design efforts being translated into a finished product.
Sofyaan was appointed as Industrial Technician in 1987.
After Project ENERGY, Sofyaan moved onto Project DUBBELTJIE which was the conversion of the old SAS TAFELBERG. This project had to be completed in 12 months including design work, procurement and implementation.
With these projects it was the sense of teamwork that Sofyaan says he enjoyed the most, with each team member dependent on the other.
After Project DUBBELTJIE the next project was Project LUMEN, the conversion of the old Type 12 Frigates. Again, this project did not proceed.
The early 1990’s saw the design team now being called the Naval Engineering Bureau, located at Silvermine. Sofyaan was involved in Project FORESHORE - the design of a frigate-sized vessel, which led ultimately to the Corvette Programme and Project SITRON.
http://www.navy.mil.za/archive/1008/100802_Mr_Hendricks_retires/article.htm
 

kaiserbill

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On Project LUMEEN (note the double E), which was the project to modify/redesign the 2 remaining Type 12 Frigates.

There appears to have been 2 different streams on this project. Naval HQ in Pretoria had certain ideas of what this should entail, and Simonstown Naval Dockyard, which would have carried out the rebuilds, had another concept.

Basically, Pretoria wanted to maximise the potential of the hulls, whilst Simonstown wanted a more modest, arguably workable concept.

Naval HQ in Pretoria wanted a complete rebuild with very high spec, latest generation equipment and electronics. They wanted to ship initially 2 and eventually 3 navalised Puma helicopters. Basically everything excluding the kitchen sink, as it was explained to me.

Simonstowns more modest proposal involved a ship with extended range, fewer crew, a single helicopter, perhaps a single 5 inch mount, SAM and SSM missiles, and a few light guns. A lot of the electronics would be common with the strike craft fit, but not exclusively. The conversions would have been completed within 4 years.

The concept would have been used as command/flagships with the Strikecraft, as well as having the ability to replenish those much smaller vessels. The ability to support Special Forces operations was crucial, as well as ASW capability, which the Navy was concerned was being lost. The ASW component was to be the 2 triple ASW torpedo tubes, as well as air droppable torpedoes, based on an upgraded Mk44. Indigineous sonar development was not quite ready, being aimed at the replacement, new-build indigineous corvette/frigate programme that had been initiated.

These Type 12 conversions would have bridged the gap until the new vessels came into service.

The inability to find a workable compromise between Pretoria HQ and Simonstown, as well as the closely imminent local corvette/frigate programme scuppered the project.
 

JFC Fuller

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kaiserbill said:
Indigineous sonar development was not quite ready, being aimed at the replacement, new-build indigineous corvette/frigate programme that had been initiated.

Those mythical corvettes again, I really, really want to see the design for those!
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
kaiserbill said:
Indigineous sonar development was not quite ready, being aimed at the replacement, new-build indigineous corvette/frigate programme that had been initiated.

Those mythical corvettes again, I really, really want to see the design for those!
So do I!!

More than one source says they were cancelled as steel was about to be cut, meaning the design was pretty much set in concrete.
 

thebig C

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Yup, I have seen a few references over the years indicating that the design was "frozen" and construction was about to commence.
C
 

thebig C

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Hey Gang
Apologies if these documents have been posted before. They are primarily an examination of the purchase and construction of Israeli missile craft and Simmonstown Agreement, however, they both contain some very useful information on the failed purchase of ASW Corvette based on the Portugese Joao Coutinho Class and the aborted purchase of French A69 class Avisios.
http://www.ajol.info/index.php/smsajms/article/viewFile/81114/71336
http://www.ajol.info/index.php/smsajms/article/viewFile/81069/71292
If you scroll to the relevent sections dealing with the design and purchase of ASW Corvettes from Portugal and subcontracted to Bazan in Spain, theen both documents seem to suggest that the vessels were very sophisticated and didn't proceed beyond design stage. I had always believed that the Baptista De Andrade Class, a slightly upgraded variant of Joao Coutinho were built for the SAN, this belief was reenforced by the fact that Portugal tried to offload the entire Class to Colombia in the mid-1970s, but this would suggest otherwise.
You will note that, the documents refer to the design growing from 1300 tonnes to 1800. This tallies with other references I have seen. Furthermore, consider the fact that the Baptista de Andrade Class are approx 1400 tonnes full load and even its enlarged successors the Descuberita Class are 1600 tonnes. Even taking into account additional weapons (mindful of the fact that the Descuberitas are very well ramed), an 1800 tonne vessel was probably in the 90-95m range and given the seeming importance of stability and seakeeping off the SA coast then the design probably had additional beam and draught also.

C
 

glmm

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There was a "Super Descubierta" design with Sea Sparrow/Aspide forwards and an helicopter hangar and pad offered in the very early 1980s to at least the Spanish and Chilean navies. So the basic design was pretty scalable.
 

kaiserbill

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Was following a conversation over at the saairforce forum.

One of the posters is an ex SA Navy man, who's father was also in the navy, and had some input on the local Corvette programme.

Basically, as discussed, the Baptista de Andrade class was looked at first, with 4 being constructed in Spain, with Portugal acting as an intermediary. A further 2 were to be constructed in South Africa at Durban. In 1972, adverts were placed in newspapers asking for tenders from boatyards and equipment manufacturers for the construction of these two locally built vessels. This was scuppered by the coup in Portugal.

South Africa turned to France for the A-69, but this was scuppered by the arms embargo.

South Africa in the late 1970's or early 1980's then started the design of a mini-corvette.

When the South Africans purchased the blueprints for the Type 209 submarine from Germany in the 1980's, they also purchased the blueprints for the HDW FS-1500 light frigate.

I think that a modified version of this FS-1500 was to be built in Durban.
 

thebig C

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Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
There was a "Super Descubierta" design with Sea Sparrow/Aspide forwards and an helicopter hangar and pad offered in the very early 1980s to at least the Spanish and Chilean navies. So the basic design was pretty scalable.
Hey Gorka

Yes, given the fact that the Descubiertas were built in the early 1980s I had often wondered if in fact the drawings for an SAN version of the Baptista de Andrades actually served as a baseline for the Descubiertas!
I didn't know that the Super Descubierta was offered to Chile.....what timeframe are we talking about? I have yet to see an illustration of a Super-Descubierta, however as to the design being scaleable, it had the same beam as the A69s and one of the reasons they didn't incorporate a landingpad/hanger is that the designers felt it was already at its limit. So, an 88m standard Descubierta was already quite a stretch. Aparently thats one reason that they were rejected for the Santa Maria Class requirement.

C
 

thebig C

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kaiserbill said:
Was following a conversation over at the saairforce forum.

One of the posters is an ex SA Navy man, who's father was also in the navy, and had some input on the local Corvette programme.

Basically, as discussed, the Baptista de Andrade class was looked at first, with 4 being constructed in Spain, with Portugal acting as an intermediary. A further 2 were to be constructed in South Africa at Durban. In 1972, adverts were placed in newspapers asking for tenders from boatyards and equipment manufacturers for the construction of these two locally built vessels. This was scuppered by the coup in Portugal.

South Africa turned to France for the A-69, but this was scuppered by the arms embargo.

South Africa in the late 1970's or early 1980's then started the design of a mini-corvette.

When the South Africans purchased the blueprints for the Type 209 submarine from Germany in the 1980's, they also purchased the blueprints for the HDW FS-1500 light frigate.

I think that a modified version of this FS-1500 was to be built in Durban.
Hey Kaiserbill...thanks for that

There is some excellent Navy related info on the SA airforce board.
The rumour that the SAN had an indiginous design "frozen" in the mid-1980s would seem slightly debunked. The FS-1500 design was the type built for Colombia (Almirante Padilla Class) and Malaisya (Kasturi Class) during the early-mid 1980s. In terms of size they are 97-99m which is not too far off the 104m Bazan 590 which was almost ordered in the early 1990s, so the FS1500 would be relatively spot on in terms of the requirement.
If the 1980s "mystery" is cleared up, that only leaves the early 1970s Project Taurus.....as there is still a considerable gulf between the relative size of the Portugese and SA variants.

C
 

kaiserbill

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C

Frowhat I can gather, the "weapons" people kept adding equipment from their lists, which made the South African corvette unfeasible. I think that is why they then purchased the FS-1500 design.

The Columbian version is 2100 tons, and is around 100 meters in length. To retain an ASW helicopter capability, it's greater size and breadth (11,3m) would make it more suitable. With a slight increase in length and/or some rearranging, it would be entirely feasible to get a hangar onboard to go with the existing flight deck.
 

kaiserbill

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I've actually just found out at the Columbian version does indeed have a hangar. The wiki article is wrong, as are a host of other sources,as I looked at some pictures of the class from the stern, and there is definitely a hangar.

Also, from 2010, LINKrechts got the contract to upgrade the flight deck lighting to make it NVG compatible. The contract also includes upgrading the hangar lighting.


LINKSrechts is proud to announce it is delivering four night vision goggle (NVG) compatible flight deck lighting systems for the upgrade of the Almirante Padilla Class frigates.
The system includes deck lighting, the newest generation glide path indicator and a horizon reference system. Additionally the hangar lighting as well as the lighting for adjacent rooms (i.e. refueling rooms and heli control room) will be equipped with special LED lights that are being used for main lighting as well as NVG compatible lighting.
http://www.naval-technology.com/contractors/electronic/linksrechts/press2.html

You learn something new everyday....
 

thebig C

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kaiserbill said:
I've actually just found out at the Columbian version does indeed have a hangar. The wiki article is wrong, as are a host of other sources,as I looked at some pictures of the class from the stern, and there is definitely a hangar.

Also, from 2010, LINKrechts got the contract to upgrade the flight deck lighting to make it NVG compatible. The contract also includes upgrading the hangar lighting.


LINKSrechts is proud to announce it is delivering four night vision goggle (NVG) compatible flight deck lighting systems for the upgrade of the Almirante Padilla Class frigates.
The system includes deck lighting, the newest generation glide path indicator and a horizon reference system. Additionally the hangar lighting as well as the lighting for adjacent rooms (i.e. refueling rooms and heli control room) will be equipped with special LED lights that are being used for main lighting as well as NVG compatible lighting.
http://www.naval-technology.com/contractors/electronic/linksrechts/press2.html

You learn something new everyday....
Yep, they can operate a light Heli such as a Bo105 or an Ec 130. I suppose that would have been compatible with the Aloettes and Wasps that the SAN might have had.
 

glmm

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thebig C said:
Yep, they can operate a light Heli such as a Bo105 or an Ec 130. I suppose that would have been compatible with the Aloettes and Wasps that the SAN might have had.
They usually operate with a BO105 aboard, mostly for OTH search/targeting for the MM40. You can see the aviation facilities here:



They have been upgraded several times, with the last program being in the works now; note the new OTO mount forwards.
 

glmm

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thebig C said:
Of note is that I remember the article mentioned this cost overrun as the specific reason why Defence Minister Botha took personal charge of the procurement process and insisted on the A69 (President Class?)....in that they were a standard off the shelf well armed design with little room or need for for costly additions.
South Africa had close relations with France at the time; remember they ordered (and received) the three DAPHNE subs and ordered two follow on AGOSTAs in 1976. According to the LELA Presse book on the A69 "avisos" published last year some pressure was put on South Africa to order A69s in 1976 as the two ships were already being built! The order was placed for two and the first, GOOD HOPE was ready for sea trials in November 1977.... when France finally embargoed weapon deliveries to South Africa. The two boats were bought by Argentina the following year, a third ship being ordered.

As South Africa was on a buying spree at the time (Mirage IIIs and F-1, submarines, weaponry....) the A69 deal proably was sweetened by some kind of political/economical arrangement plus the pressure there weren't many parties available to deal with Apartheid's South Africa at the time.

While they are small ships apparently not suitable for oceanic operations, in Argentine use they have been shown to be dependable and with good seakeeping. Surely the SAN would have had no problems with them in their operational area.
 

glmm

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thebig C said:
Yes, given the fact that the Descubiertas were built in the early 1980s I had often wondered if in fact the drawings for an SAN version of the Baptista de Andrades actually served as a baseline for the Descubiertas!
I didn't know that the Super Descubierta was offered to Chile.....what timeframe are we talking about? I have yet to see an illustration of a Super-Descubierta, however as to the design being scaleable, it had the same beam as the A69s and one of the reasons they didn't incorporate a landingpad/hanger is that the designers felt it was already at its limit. So, an 88m standard Descubierta was already quite a stretch. Aparently thats one reason that they were rejected for the Santa Maria Class requirement.
The DESCUBIERTAs were ordered in 1973 and entered service in the late 1970s. They were an indigenous design based on the B&V work. IIRC, Bazan later bought all the IP related to the series from B&V.
The basic design was pretty adaptable, but I dount South Africa would have ordered their own version with Sea Sparrow, Italian guns and EW, a Dutch combat system and electronics, Swedish ASW mortar and US sonars!
This is the only drawing I have, scanned from an old booklet in my personal library. As you can see, the basic hull shape seems to have been kept, Sea Sparrow/aspide replacing the Bofors ASW mortar (and I would say no reloads) and the helo pad and hanger replacing the twin Breda Bofors and Sea Sparrow launcher. Harpoons seems to be kept in the same place and the Bofors moved to the sides of the hanger (don't know if they would have REALLY fit).

This design was never a contender for the SANTA MARIA requeriment, which asked for a cheap air defence frigate. That position could only be covered at the time by the FFG-7 class, as Standard was already in service aboard the F-70s, whose AAW outfit was quite austere. Originally only three were ordered (PINTA, NIÑA and SANTA MARIA, named after Christopher Columbus ships) but in the end six were ordered in two batches (4+2). They were more capable and nore adaptable. In the 1990s the DESCUBIERTAs were too small, cramped and short ranged to be considered "blue water" assests and downgraded to OPV role, one becoming a mine warfare support ship. Four still in service as OPVs as today.
 

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kaiserbill

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Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
As South Africa was on a buying spree at the time (Mirage IIIs and F-1, submarines, weaponry....) the A69 deal proably was sweetened by some kind of political/economical arrangement plus the pressure there weren't many parties available to deal with Apartheid's South Africa at the time.
Among other things, South Africa was going to put into place the French television system. With the cancelling of the Agosta sub and A-69 by the French, South Africa retaliated by cancelling that contract, and went with the German TV system instead. I'm not sure if the nuclear power station, built outside Cape Town with a French design, was also part of the deal or not.

The HDW FS-1500 could operate a variety of helicopters, such as the Fennec, Lynx, or MB 105. The Wasp or Alouette would be equally suitable.

The SAN now operates another HDW product, the MEKO A-200 SAN Valour Class.
 

thebig C

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Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
thebig C said:
Of note is that I remember the article mentioned this cost overrun as the specific reason why Defence Minister Botha took personal charge of the procurement process and insisted on the A69 (President Class?)....in that they were a standard off the shelf well armed design with little room or need for for costly additions.
South Africa had close relations with France at the time; remember they ordered (and received) the three DAPHNE subs and ordered two follow on AGOSTAs in 1976. According to the LELA Presse book on the A69 "avisos" published last year some pressure was put on South Africa to order A69s in 1976 as the two ships were already being built! The order was placed for two and the first, GOOD HOPE was ready for sea trials in November 1977.... when France finally embargoed weapon deliveries to South Africa. The two boats were bought by Argentina the following year, a third ship being ordered.

As South Africa was on a buying spree at the time (Mirage IIIs and F-1, submarines, weaponry....) the A69 deal proably was sweetened by some kind of political/economical arrangement plus the pressure there weren't many parties available to deal with Apartheid's South Africa at the time.

While they are small ships apparently not suitable for oceanic operations, in Argentine use they have been shown to be dependable and with good seakeeping. Surely the SAN would have had no problems with them in their operational area.
Hey Gorka

Yes France did a roaring trade with SA during the 1970s. Incidentally, info on the SA AirForce board indicates that armament for the Project Taurus ships was: 1x100mm, 2x40mm along with 6x torpedos. It also mentions that Sweden embargoed 375mm ASW Rockets....although presumably these were to be made under Liscence by Creusot Loire. Intrestingly, perhaps as a result of but the collapse of the various arms deals and the introduction of the Israeli missile craft, by the 1980s the proposed Corvettes would mostly have sported Italian and German equipment such as 76mm, 40mm, 30mm(Mauser??) and Aspide.
If the A69 were already building then that means that they would have been Marine Nationale vessels transfered to the SAN? Whilst the A69s are a bit on the light side, they do have a relatively low centre of Gravity and were of fairly durable construction.

C
 

thebig C

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Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
thebig C said:
Yes, given the fact that the Descubiertas were built in the early 1980s I had often wondered if in fact the drawings for an SAN version of the Baptista de Andrades actually served as a baseline for the Descubiertas!
I didn't know that the Super Descubierta was offered to Chile.....what timeframe are we talking about? I have yet to see an illustration of a Super-Descubierta, however as to the design being scaleable, it had the same beam as the A69s and one of the reasons they didn't incorporate a landingpad/hanger is that the designers felt it was already at its limit. So, an 88m standard Descubierta was already quite a stretch. Aparently thats one reason that they were rejected for the Santa Maria Class requirement.
The DESCUBIERTAs were ordered in 1973 and entered service in the late 1970s. They were an indigenous design based on the B&V work. IIRC, Bazan later bought all the IP related to the series from B&V.
The basic design was pretty adaptable, but I dount South Africa would have ordered their own version with Sea Sparrow, Italian guns and EW, a Dutch combat system and electronics, Swedish ASW mortar and US sonars!
This is the only drawing I have, scanned from an old booklet in my personal library. As you can see, the basic hull shape seems to have been kept, Sea Sparrow/aspide replacing the Bofors ASW mortar (and I would say no reloads) and the helo pad and hanger replacing the twin Breda Bofors and Sea Sparrow launcher. Harpoons seems to be kept in the same place and the Bofors moved to the sides of the hanger (don't know if they would have REALLY fit).

This design was never a contender for the SANTA MARIA requeriment, which asked for a cheap air defence frigate. That position could only be covered at the time by the FFG-7 class, as Standard was already in service aboard the F-70s, whose AAW outfit was quite austere. Originally only three were ordered (PINTA, NIÑA and SANTA MARIA, named after Christopher Columbus ships) but in the end six were ordered in two batches (4+2). They were more capable and nore adaptable. In the 1990s the DESCUBIERTAs were too small, cramped and short ranged to be considered "blue water" assests and downgraded to OPV role, one becoming a mine warfare support ship. Four still in service as OPVs as today.
Great post....I have NEVER seen a pic of the Super-Descubierta. If anything, rather then a stretched variant it merely looks like they rearranged the superstructure to accommodate a hanger and flight-deck. Although, its notoriously difficult to ascess scale from some of these drawings. I take your point about the Bofors, in a similar position on larger hulls they can be a tight fit!
Thanks for the info about the Santa Marias.....btw several sources on the Net are incorrectly stating that Super-Descubiertas were offered for this role. I think this has led myself and others to think that the design was stretched given the disparity in size between the basic Descubierta and the basic OH Perry:))

C
 

thebig C

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kaiserbill said:
Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
As South Africa was on a buying spree at the time (Mirage IIIs and F-1, submarines, weaponry....) the A69 deal proably was sweetened by some kind of political/economical arrangement plus the pressure there weren't many parties available to deal with Apartheid's South Africa at the time.
Among other things, South Africa was going to put into place the French television system. With the cancelling of the Agosta sub and A-69 by the French, South Africa retaliated by cancelling that contract, and went with the German TV system instead. I'm not sure if the nuclear power station, built outside Cape Town with a French design, was also part of the deal or not.

The HDW FS-1500 could operate a variety of helicopters, such as the Fennec, Lynx, or MB 105. The Wasp or Alouette would be equally suitable.

The SAN now operates another HDW product, the MEKO A-200 SAN Valour Class.
Nice little annecdote:)
BTW, why was the first competition which I believe was won by a Bazan design cancelled?.....Although, it worked out well for the SAN who got much superior A-200s!

C
 

thebig C

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Thnks Gorka
If we take it that the SAN Project Tauras was an evolution of Baptista de Andrade designed 72-74 and you reckon that the Descubiertas were designed in the early mid 1970s, probably on the same drawing board at B und V ....do you think its possible that Project Tauras provided some inspiration for the Descubiertas?

C
 

glmm

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thebig C said:
Thnks Gorka
If we take it that the SAN Project Tauras was an evolution of Baptista de Andrade designed 72-74 and you reckon that the Descubiertas were designed in the early mid 1970s, probably on the same drawing board at B und V ....do you think its possible that Project Tauras provided some inspiration for the Descubiertas?
The DESCUBIERTA design was totally tailored to the Spanish Navy needs and much, much more advanced that the Portuguese ships. Bazan claims it was designed in house based on the experience gained with the original B&V design, with support from the German yard. The DESCUBIERTAs were pretty complex for their size, with a computerized C3I system, extensive (for the age and size) EW fit, good quality sensors...
The SAN looks like ooked for something less complex. The A69s were closer to the Portugese ships that to the DESCUBIERTAs. Of course, something similar could have been arranged.
 

thebig C

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Thanks for that Gorka.
I know that the Joao Cutinho Class were aparently jointly designed by B&V and a Portugese Naval engineer. Supposedly, this design served as the base for A69, Descubierta and Meko 140!
You have outlined the vast difference in Baptista de Andrade above to Descubierta even though they along with the Project Taurus offering were designed at the same time.
Given that B&V are pioneers of modularity, I wonder do you have any renders of B&V designs/proposals from the early/mid 1970s as there may be a familial resemblence to what Project Tauras may have looked like?
Apologies....I know I keep making demands on you:)
C
 
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