German TKMS to support upgrade of South African frigates, submarines

South African defense contractor Denel has teamed up with German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems for joint work on South African Navy frigates and submarines.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding on board the SAS Amatola, in Rostock, Germany, during the frigate’s deployment to European waters.

Denel’s Maritime division will take responsibility for maintenance and upgrades on three Heroine-class Type 209/1400mod submarines (SAS Manthatisi, SAS Charlotte Maxeke and SAS Queen Modjadji) and four Valour-class frigates (SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana, SAS Spioenkop and SAS Mendi).

The vessels were commissioned by the SA Navy between 2005 and 2008.

The agreement creates a framework in which TKMS, the original manufacturer of the submarines and frigates, will provide technical and shipyard support as subcontractors to Denel.

It will include quality assurance and procurement, on-site technical support, the transfer of technology and the development of the local supply chain. The training of Denel’s technical personnel will take place in Germany.

“This is a major breakthrough for the South African maritime sector as Denel becomes responsible for specialist services on some of the world’s most-sophisticated submarines and frigates,” Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the acting CEO of Denel, said.

As the original equipment manufacturer of the South African Navy MEKO® A-200 frigates (Valour-class) and the SA Navy 209/1400mod submarines, TKMS will provide general support with regard to the dockyard operations, infrastructure, and maintenance. In addition, the company will provide technical support for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the frigates and submarines.

Denel is teaming up with TKMS as it is working on the revival of Naval Dockyard facilities in Simonstown.


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