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River Class (Coastal Minehunters) (MHC)

Ordered in 1978 as Research Vessels to be operated by the Navy for the Department of Transport. The lead ship Navors I was shipped to Durban from Germany in the heavy lift ship Uhenfels in June 1980 for fitting out She was shortly followed by the second. The last pair were built in Durban. The vessels were painted blue with white upperworks and formed the First Research Squadron. They were painted grey and renamed in 1982 but continued to fly the national flag and not the naval ensign. The prefix RV was only changed to SAS on 3 February 1988 when they were formally accepted as naval ships. Their minehunting capability could be enhanced by substituting the diving container on the after deck with lightweight mechanical and acoustic sweeping gear. Carry a RIB and a decompression chamber. The plan is to give them a second-generation minehunting system.

Name No Builders Commissioned
(ex- Navors I)
M 1499 Abeking & Rasmussen /
Sandock Austral
13 Jan 1981
M 1142 Sandock Austral 30 Oct 1981
Displacement, tons: 380 full load
Dimensions, feet (metres): 157,5 x 27,9 x 8,2 (48 x 8,5 x2,5)
Main Machinery: 2 MTU 12V 652 TB81 diesels; 4,515 hp(m) (3,32 MW); 2 Voith-Schneider props
Speed, knots: 16
Range, miles: 2,000 at 13kt
Complement: 40 (7 officers)
Guns: 1 Oerlikon 20 mm GAM-BO1; 2 - 12,7 mm MGs
Countermeasures: MCM; 2 PAP 104 remote-controlled submersibles
Radars: Navigation: Decca; I-band
Sonars: Klein VDS; side scan; high frequency

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