Submarine doesn't need many repairs - Lindiwe Sisulu

Defence minister says SAS 'MANTHATISI is undergoing routine overhaul




Mr P.J. Groenewald (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans:

1. With reference to her reply to question 1801 on 10 June 2010, (a) (i) what type of repairs are currently being done and (ii) what is the estimated cost of the repairs and (b) what maintenance is being done to the batteries;

2. Whether the submarine's wiring is currently damaged or has been damaged in the past; if so (a) what was the cause in each case and (b) how long will it take to repair?

3. Whether she will make a statement on the matter? NW 3267E


1(a)(i) The Navy has commenced the process of conducting the first minor overhaul of a Type 209 submarine locally. The majority of this overhaul consists of routine maintenance and replacement of parts as opposed to repairs. Very little known repair work is required on the SAS 'MANTHATISI. It will be the first submarine to undergo this process. Many elements of this process are unknown and infrastructure and training will need to be established in order to create a submarine overhaul capability in country. It is envisaged that the process will be complete by mid to late 2012.

(ii) The Navy is currently in the process of establishing a list of maintenance to be completed during the minor overhaul. This list is termed the "Scope of Work". Once the Scope of Work has been established, the spares requirement will be known and will be the major factor in establishing the cost for the overhaul.

b.The SAS 'MANTHATISI battery is currently housed in the Submarine Battery Workshop where it is being trickle charged to ensure that the battery is maintained at operational levels. This means that the battery is being discharged and charged to ensure that the system remains operational without depreciating in Ampere Hours. In order to ensure that the SAS 'MANTHATISI will be operational for a period of at least eight years on completion of the first minor overhaul, the SA Navy will procure a new battery for the submarine. Each submarine will, in turn, be fitted with a new battery on completion of their respective minor overhauls

2(a) The submarine's wiring is not damaged but an incident did occur in 2008 during which mainly fuses were blown in a shore supply box (external of the submarine).

(b) During a switch over from shore to ship electrical supply, an incident occurred whereby an AC plug was incorrectly inserted into a DC socket. This led to a number of fuses being blown (as with trip switches) protecting electrical equipment onboard from incorrectly phased electrical supply. This incident has led to changes in design and standard operating procedures to ensure that a similar incident cannot occur again. The minor repairs that had to be affected to the outboard switchboard were completed shortly after the incident occurred, in excess of 18 months ago. There are currently no repairs required to the submarine's wiring.

3. I will arrange a special tour for the Honourable Member of the Navy dockyard in Simons Town, especially as he seem encouragingly keen on the submarines.

Issued by Parliament, December 13 2010

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