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South African Indigenous Naval Projects?

kaiserbill

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Very interesting.
I look forward to seeing the various other sonar info you have.

Is that the drone (Skua replacement?) in the backround that has been posted over on the other thread?
 

Graugrun

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Yes that is the potentially new drone in the background - I would be hesitant to call it the SKUA replacement though...

Some more info on our sonar development by UEC- note the picture at the bottom right. If you read the captions it seems that we had by then already got most of the aspects of sonar covered.

Article courtesy of the DEXSA 1992 Defence Industry Directory.
 

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Graugrun

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The SAMCOM 600, One of our naval mine projects by IMT - I'm not sure if this went past the prototype stage or not, or if it was one of the two finalists for an Australian tender a few years back (eventually won by the British Stonefish mine).

It seems to be an improvement on the older Matrix intelligent mines developed and produced by Northbend Instrumentation in Durban.
 

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kaiserbill

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Thanks Graugrun.

I never knew many of these projects even existed before.
 

Graugrun

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There was/is a fair amount they were busy with, in relation to our very small navy and the lowly importance we placed on it (compared to the army and airforce).

Here is another one that I am not sure ever went into production - although it looks like it could have...
 

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kaiserbill

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It is interesting to finally get to see what was behind the bland public statements, such as "working towards" with regards to various technologies and capabilities in the defence industry.
Another project I hadn't heard of before.

Especially the navy, which, as you allude to, was definitely the poorer cousin of the Army and Air Force.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Clearly the 180 array sonar would have to be called the pineapple/pynappel in service.
 

Graugrun

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Proposed 27 m Fast Patrol Boat from Veecraft Marine - now bought out by Paramount - I believe that Nigeria might be interested, don't know if it's been sold or built yet.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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My source for this image does not indicate that this ship is a SAN frigate proposal. It just refers to it as a "modern warship". However the source is an early 1992 South African published report on how an unmanned SWATH ship would be ideal for South Africa as an alternative to this ship as the 'conventional' alternative. It clearly looks like it could have been an option for the SAN in the late 1980s as their local corvette/frigate build program.
 

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kaiserbill

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Interesting find, AG.


It certainly has in place most of what I've seen mentioned would equip an indigineous light frigate.


Skerpioen (Gabriel) ASM, 76mm, triple Mk32 torpedo tubes, a helicopter....etc
The main purpose of these vessels, apart from providing larger vessels for the South Atlantic, was to preserve ASW capabilities.


I wonder what report this came from? Was it a private proposal or governmental?
 

Abraham Gubler

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kaiserbill said:
I wonder what report this came from? Was it a private proposal or governmental?

Was in Armed Forces Journal, Dec 91/Jan 92 (South Africa). Article "Unmanned Patrol Craft" by Brian Gowans.


http://www.shipconsultants.net/marine_technology.html


Brian spent the first 21 years of his career as an Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy including sea service in aircraft carriers and cruisers. This was followed by post graduate training and then submarine and frigate design and the building of gas turbine frigates. He emigrated to South Africa and was Manager of a shipyard in Durban before becoming a Consulting Engineer.


Brian Gowans from LinkedIn:



Principal Engineer
Marine Technology
October 2012 – Present (2 years 3 months)Simon's Town
Maritime consulting engineers


Owner
Marine Technology Ltd
August 1989 – Present (25 years 5 months)


Associate Professor
University Durban Westville
January 1982 – September 1989 (7 years 9 months)


Shipyard Manager
Dorbyl Marine, Durban
January 1976 – December 1981 (6 years)
 

panzerskool

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so if anyone was to know about our corvette project it would be old Brian
 

kaiserbill

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Abe Gublers profile made me do a spot of digging around on Brian Gowans.


He did, as mention, work in one of the major shipyards in South Africa.


I was reading another article by him in African Armed Forces Journal, April 1991, about how the maritime industry in South Africa had to adapt to the just announced massive cuts. Below are two further outline designs projected for other roles, from the article.


I think these were not official projects, and were private designs from the shipyard he worked for perhaps aimed at possible government programmes that might or might not have been issued at some stage.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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To move away from the work of Brian Gowans for a second I've just started reading "Iron Fist from the Sea", the story of the SADF water operations recce commando. There is loads of stuff in there about a few of their special forces boats "Barracuda". I will warm up the scanner when I get a chance but it did spark in my mind the little information out there about the SAS Tafleberg after it was modified to an assault transport and the SAN "Delta" landing craft. Sure these were all built projects but so little information is available publicly about them. I for one would appreciate any imagery other than the paltry stuff available on the internet.
 

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kaiserbill

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I recall having one or two photos from a report of the SAS Tafelberg after her refit launching the Delta assault boats as part of an exercise.


I don't think the photo/s were particularly clear, but I'll see if I can find it/them.
 

covert_shores

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Abraham, is there anything about the SDVs they used in the book? I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive, but I have previously spoken to the author re their SDVs. I have identified the type etc and will publish what info I feel I can in the Covert Shores book. But I am unaware what info about them made it into the 4RR book. :D
 

Graugrun

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Abraham Gubler said:
To move away from the work of Brian Gowans for a second I've just started reading "Iron Fist from the Sea", the story of the SADF naval recce commando. There is loads of stuff in there about a few of their special forces boats "Barracuda". I will warm up the scanner when I get a chance but it did spark in my mind the little information out there about the SAS Tafleberg after it was modified to an assault transport and the SAN "Delta" landing craft. Sure these were all built projects but so little information is available publicly about them. I for one would appreciate any imagery other than the paltry stuff available on the internet.
There were quite a few different specialized boats that 4 Recce/4SFR used over the years, I have some good pics of most of them, however for various reasons I cannot post them on the net. BTW just in case there is any miss-understanding, 4 Recce/4 SFR is and never was a naval unit (like the US SEALS), they fall under and report to Joint Ops and to the Chief of the SANDF (South African National Defence Force). They do have a very strong amphibious orientation, however they have also completed quite a few purely land based operations (one being successful tank hunting teams during our war in Angola in the late 1980's).

I wrote a chapter for the book, however I don't have my own copy yet, I am expecting one of the authors to present me with a signed copy once he comes up to my neck of the woods again. So I would be curious to hear what your thoughts are on it (once you have had some more time to read through it).

Covert_shores, there were also something like 3 different locally built SDV's built for 4 Recce/4 SFR (apart from any foreign ones they may have obtained), I'm not sure as to how experimental they were verses how much operational usage they had though. They are rather touchy about them (in the past), so I stayed away from asking about them - I should follow up on it though...

I meant to mention this in another thread, since we are on books I might as well mention it here - I have had two meetings with Helmoed Romer Heitman and he thinks my idea of a book covering all the prototype/projects/secret projects that South Africa started or had going as projects of some sort or another, is a good one. I have been drafting a list of projects (naval/air/army/SF/Medics/Space etc) that I believe falls into the prototype or developmental project categories. We will start working on it slowly and it might see the light of day in about 2-3 years time.
 

Abraham Gubler

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covert_shores said:
Abraham, is there anything about the SDVs they used in the book? I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive, but I have previously spoken to the author re their SDVs. I have identified the type etc and will publish what info I feel I can in the Covert Shores book. But I am unaware what info about them made it into the 4RR book. :D

I haven't got to a point in the book that mentions SDVs. Will advise when I do. There is a picture of a 20mm gun mounted on the casing of one of their submarines to provide protection when launching raiding parties but.
 

Abraham Gubler

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kaiserbill said:
Abe Gubler, this is all I have found at present.
I'll look through my hard drive at home.


Also, a video of Exercise Magersfontein in 1988 that has some brief footage at the beginning and in the middle of SAS Tafelberg.

Thanks. I saw this video a few years ago and it sparked my interest in SADF amphibious operations. Converting a tanker to an LKA, outboard motor powered LCVPs. All pretty innovative and easy to access (compared to purpose built) providing excellent capability.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Graugrun said:
I meant to mention this in another thread, since we are on books I might as well mention it here - I have had two meetings with Helmoed Romer Heitman and he thinks my idea of a book covering all the prototype/projects/secret projects that South Africa started or had going as projects of some sort or another, is a good one. I have been drafting a list of projects (naval/air/army/SF/Medics/Space etc) that I believe falls into the prototype or developmental project categories. We will start working on it slowly and it might see the light of day in about 2-3 years time.

Great idea. I've started work on a similar tome covering all the prototype or developmental and lesser known weapons developed in Australia. Might take a few years too.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Graugrun said:
BTW just in case there is any miss-understanding, 4 Recce/4 SFR is and never was a naval unit (like the US SEALS), they fall under and report to Joint Ops and to the Chief of the SANDF (South African National Defence Force). They do have a very strong amphibious orientation, however they have also completed quite a few purely land based operations (one being successful tank hunting teams during our war in Angola in the late 1980's).

Have updated my OP to reduce any confusion as to the service orientation of 4 Recce.
 

Abraham Gubler

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covert_shores said:
Abraham, is there anything about the SDVs they used in the book? I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive, but I have previously spoken to the author re their SDVs. I have identified the type etc and will publish what info I feel I can in the Covert Shores book. But I am unaware what info about them made it into the 4RR book. :D

Well I scanned forward to find any reference. In the section on "Equipment and Boats" it does mention SDVs. But only that they were "considered". And use of them would have had to be via davits from the Minister class (Israeli Sa'ar) strike craft. A pair of davits had been installed on one vessel to deploy the "Avalanche" rigid hulled fast boat but found unusable in any but flat seas. So were not used and 4 Recce kept using the smaller "Barracuda" rigid boats deployed from the strike craft on aft tiling ramps either side of the rear Oto gun. The book does not say that SDVs were rejected just that they decided to focus on swimmers and small boats for deployment. It also mentions that their Heroine class (French Daphne) submarines were too small for carrying SDVs. Also that they found deploying divers closer to the target by having them shelter in the casing while the sub conducted a submerged approach to be unsuccessful. Even though is a pretty standard tactic in most western navies.
 

Abraham Gubler

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kaiserbill said:
Also, a video of Exercise Magersfontein in 1988 that has some brief footage at the beginning and in the middle of SAS Tafelberg.

"Iron Fist From the Sea" details that this exercise was a rehearsal for an amphibious assault to support the battles around Cuito Cuanavale. The plan was for Operation Kwevoel (Go Away Bird) for the SAN and 44 Para Bde to cut Cuban lines of communication by seizing the port of Namibe. SAS Tafleberg and five strike craft (for force protection and NGS) would land the SA Marines' Amphib Coy by D-80 (Delta) landing craft to seize a beachhead. No doubt with 4 Recce securing the beach beforehand. Then two companies of paras would come ashore from the Tafleberg via the Deltas and Puma helos. The SAAF with 10 C-130s and C-160s would then para drop another two companies of paras, engineers, the Ferret anti tank unit, 14.5mm HMGs for air defence and a 120mm mortar equipped light battery. Once the port was seized the engineers would destroy the facilities by demolition. However the truce was signed on August 8, 1988 and Operation Kwevoel was not needed.
 

kaiserbill

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Gorka L Martinez Mezo said:
It's a pity there appears to be no pictures of the South African DAPHNEs control rooms roaming on the net; as these have been retired quite a few years ago I hope some day they'll surface.
Just resurrecting this, further to Gorka's and Graugruns conversation...
1:15 onwards in the video below is a walk through the SAS Assegaai (ex SAS Johanna van der Merwe) control room, which is now a museum ship. It shows the post-refit display screens that replaced the earlier instrumentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va8NgUKBvKg
 

glmm

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kaiserbill said:
Just resurrecting this, further to Gorka's and Graugruns conversation...
1:15 onwards in the video below is a walk through the SAS Assegaai (ex SAS Johanna van der Merwe) control room, which is now a museum ship. It shows the post-refit display screens that replaced the earlier instrumentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va8NgUKBvKg
While the living quarters and engine areas look pretty standard, the control room has been deeply overhauled. And appears to be quite more advanced than anything I've seen on upgraded DAPHNEs. Looks like all the stations are to the left of the image, with the electronic cabinets on the opposite side, aircraft style. The Spanish upgrade was based on the AGOSTA class equipment, and the sonar equipment was in one of the sides (the DUUA-2 active sonar console facing aft with the DSUV-2 panoramic passive sonar and the DUUX-2 rangefinder on the left side) while the DLT digital fire control console was on the right side with the ESM and DUUG pulse analyzer to its left. Besides the periscope was a large mechanical plotting table. The ASSEGAI appears to have some kind of pulse analyzer (probably a DUUG/Velox series), but looks like all the sonar and FCS functions are integrated by some kind of C&C system using large flat panels (CRTs on the older upgrade).
Thanks for sharing!
 

Jemiba

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Just out of curiosity: This bow fairing reminds me to an Ulstein X-bow, but as it is open,
I don't think, that it could have that function. So, what is it for ? Better crew protection
forward, or just a "design gimmick"
 

TomS

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There's probably as aesthetic element as well, but I think part of the reason for those large bulwarks is to protect crew working on the foredeck.
 
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