Find a Security Clearance Job!


SAS Drakensberg Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR)

SAS DRAKENSBERG is the largest ship built in South Africa and the first naval vessel to be completely designed in this country. In addition to her replenishment role she is employed on search and rescue duties, patrol and surveillance duties and has considerable potential for use in disaster relief. As well as LCUs, she carries two diving support boats and two RHIBs. Replenishment at sea is from two abeam positions or from the RAS deck astern. She is also equipped for jackstay and vertrep. She has two helicopter landing spots, one forward and one astern.

Medical facilities include a fully equipped operating theatre and a four-berth ward. Dedicated training facilities for junior officers include a gunroom and lecture room. Carrying capacity includes the ability to carry 5 500 tons of diesel fuel, 210 tons of fresh water, 100 tons of dry provisions, over 30 tons of frozen victuals, 230 tons of containerized cargo or 1 000 tons of palletized and general cargo. All the equipment in the main and auxiliary machinery rooms is controlled and monitored from the Ship's Control Centre (SCC). The Damage Control Headquarters (DCHQ) is also part of the SCC. In case of any fire or flood on board, at sea or alongside, the DCHQ controls the combating of the incident.

The two main engines, which each deliver 6 600 kW, take up the largest part of the engine room. These diesel engines drive a single, variable pitch propeller. The engine room houses generators that provide electrical power at sea or during a power blackout in harbour. It also houses fuel transfer pumps that can pump fuel from the cargo fuel to ship's fuel tanks, fuel purifying pumps, and hull and fire pumps that supply the various fire hydrants, for both water and foam, found on board.

Fuel (40 tons per hour) and fresh water (15 tons per hour) can be transferred simultaneously to a wide range of vessels. An on board plant enables the ship to produce some 50 000 litres of fresh water from sea water daily. Another unique feature is the South African designed cargo handling system that includes two lifts of 2,5 and 7,5 tons respectively, one 20-ton crane, four 2-ton cranes and a 5-ton hoist. Forklifts and pallet trucks are used to move cargo to the various positions on the ship to facilitate transfer.

The ship is able to carry various types of cargo, depending on the requirement of the planned deployment or operation. The cargo carried may include 100 tons of dry provisions, 30 tons of frozen victuals, 230 tons of containerised cargo or 1 000 tons of palletised cargo. The areas where cargo will be stored is in the cargo preparation area, the cargo holds, cargo fridges, dry provisions hold and the cargo magazine.

SAS DRAKENSBERGs main secondary role is the transport of consumables, but she can also be used to support small craft and transport a limited number of troops. The SAS Drakensberg carries rigid hull inflatable boats and diving service boats. These boats are used to transfer both personnel and logistic supplies to other ships or ashore.

Name No Builders Launched Commissioned
SAS DRAKENSBERG A301 Sandock Austral, Durban 24 Apr 1986 11 Nov 1987


Displacement, tons: 6,000 light; 12 500 full load
Dimensions, feet (metres): 482,3 x 64 x 25,9 (147 x 19,5 x 7,9)
Main Machinery: 16, 320 hp(m) (12 MW); 1 shaft; cp prop; bow thruster
Speed, knots: 20+
Range, miles: 8,000 at 15kt
Complement: 96 (10 officers) plus 10 aircrew plus 22 spare
Cargo Capacity: 5,500 tons fuel; 750 tons ammunition and dry stores; 2 Delta 80 LCUs
Guns: 4 Oerlikon 20 mm GAM-BO1, 6 - 12,7 mm MGs
Helicopters: 2 SA 330H/J Oryx
Length, overall: 147 m
Beam: 19,5 m
Draught: 7,9 m
Displacement: 12 500 tons
Speed:  20+ knots
Main Engines: 2 x 6 600 kW BMW V12 engines driving a single variable pitch propeller.
Bow thruster
Full Ship's Complement: 150 personnel
Standard Ship's Complement: 115 14 Officers
  8 Warrant Officers
27 Senior Ratings
66 Junior Ratings
Billet for members under training: 24 12 Officers under training
12 Air Force crew members
During deployment the following personel may also be on board: 1 Intelligence Officer
1 Finance Officer
1 Public Relations Officer
1 Photographer
7 Trained Medical Staff


Join the mailing list