VESSEL REVIEW | King Shaka Zulu – South African Navy acquires multi-role vessel for inshore operations

Photo: Damen

The South African Navy has taken delivery of SAS King Shaka Zulu, the second in a series of three multi-mission inshore patrol vessels (MMIPVs) built locally by Damen Shipyards Cape Town.

As with earlier sister SAS Sekhukhune, the second Warrior-class MMIPV was designed by Netherlands-based the Damen Shipyards Group to provide the South African Navy with a rapid response capability when dealing with sea mines, piracy, illegal fishing, and smuggling in inshore and coastal waters. It will also take on secondary missions including dive support, search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian assistance, and crew training.

Named after an early nineteenth century monarch of what now constitutes the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, the Bureau Veritas-classed King Shaka Zulu has a steel hull, a steel and aluminium superstructure, a length of 62.2 metres, a beam of 11.5 metres, a draught of four metres, and space for 60 crewmembers. Four engines drive fixed-pitch propellers via Reintjes gearboxes to enable the vessel to reach speeds of up to 30 knots or sail 4,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 20 knots. Two 120kW bow thrusters provide added lateral manoeuvrability.

Photo: Damen

Also fitted are a hydraulically driven stabilising fin and Damen’s proprietary wave-piercing bow design that reduces resistance and vertical acceleration, enhances seakeeping, and permits high sustained transit speeds.

The armament includes a Denel Land Systems 20mm autocannon fitted on a Reutech Rogue remote weapon station. Various mission-specific modules can also be installed and transported on board even on short notice, providing the MMIPV with enhanced operational flexibility.

The sensors and the other electronics draw power from three 150ekW generators. A 33ekW generator is available for use in emergencies.

The air-conditioned accommodation spaces are distributed across three decks and consist of cabins, a radio room, an office, a galley, a mess, and a stores area. Two ventilation fans are installed in the engine room while the firefighting equipment includes handheld extinguishers and a fixed suppression system.

Photo: Damen
SAS King Shaka Zulu
Type of vessel: Inshore patrol vessel
Classification: Bureau Veritas
Flag: South Africa
Owner: South African Navy
Designer: Damen Shipyards Group, Netherlands
Builder: Damen Shipyards Cape Town, South Africa
Hull construction material: Steel
Superstructure construction material: Steel; aluminium
Length overall: 62.2 metres
Beam: 11.5 metres
Draught: 4.0 metres
Main engines: 4
Gearboxes: 4 x Reintjes
Propulsion: 4 x fixed-pitch propellers
Side thrusters: 2 x 120 kW
Maximum speed: 30 knots
Cruising speed: 20 knots
Range: 4,000 nautical miles
Radars: X-band; S-band
GMDSS: Area A2
Armaments: Denel Land Systems 20mm autocannon
Other equipment installed: Ventilation fans
Searchlights: 2
Firefighting equipment: Handheld extinguishers; fixed suppression system
Accommodation: Crew cabins; office; galley; mess; radio room; stores area
Crew: 60

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