Submarines: Lone U-Boat Defeats NATO


September 12, 2007: One of South Africa[s three new Type 209/1400 class submarines (SAS Manthatisi) distinguished itself during recent exercises with a NATO/South African task force. The sub avoided efforts by surface ships and aircraft to detect it, and proceeded to "destroy" several NATO ships.

South Africa only received its first Type 209 sub last year. The second one entered service earlier this year, and third one arrives next Spring. The German built Type 209 is one of the more widely used diesel-electric subs in the world. The South African boats displace 1300 tons, are 183 feet long, have eight torpedo tubes and carry 14 torpedoes and a crew of 36. There are 59 Type 209 boats in service, in a dozen different navies. South Africa had previously operated 860 ton French Daphne class boats. The Type 209 boats cost South Africa $285 million each.


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