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SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine (2007)

Naval Warfare

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Official image from the South African Navy website.

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SAS Charlotte Maxeke S102 was commissioned in March of 2007, making up one-third of the South African underwater fighting force.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/07/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
To succeed its aged line of French-made Cold War-era Daphne-class attack submarines, the South African Navy procured a batch of three German Type 209 submarines (the class detailed elsewhere on this site). Known locally as the Herione-class, this group is led by SAS Manthatisi (S101) and she is joined by sister boats SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102) and SAS Queen Modjadji I (S103). The vessels were commissioned in on April 1st, 2006, March 14th, 2007 and May 2008, respectively, and all are in active service as of this writing (2016). Construction of the first boat was handled by the German firm of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel) while the remaining two were completed by Thyssen Nordseewerke (Emden).

SAS Charlotte Maxeke was delivered to Simon's Town on April 27th, 2007. She displaces 1,455 tons when submerged and features a running length of 203 feet, a beam of 25 feet and a draught of 19 feet. Her propulsion system is made up of diesel-electric arrangement developing 6,100 horsepower to 1 x shaft. Electric generators are used for submerged travel. She ranges out to 13,000 miles and can speed up to 10 knots surfaced and 21.5 knots submerged. her crew complement numbers thirty.

Onboard systems include an STN Atlas CSU-90 suite, hull and side-mounted sonar arrays, an optronic mast, service-search I-band radar and a Saab S/UME-100 series tactical electronic countermeasures suite. Grintek Avitronics supplies the intercept / Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) fit.
As an attack submarine, SAS Charlotte Maxeke is appropriately outfitted with 8 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes and she carries 14 x AEG SUT 264 series torpedoes. The tubes also support the UGM-84 "Harpoon" Anti-Ship Missile (ASM).

Since commissioning, SAS Charlotte Maxeke has partaken in standard patrols, training and combine exercises involving forces from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The three vessels of the class make up the entire South African underwater fighting force but mark a major improvement over the outgoing Daphne-class as they feature better seakeeping and underwater capabilities.


Service Year

South Africa national flag graphic
South Africa



SAS Manthatisi (S101); SAS Charlotte Maxeke (S102); Queen Modjadji I (S103)

National flag of South Africa South Africa
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Submerged Attack
Traveling under the surface to search, track, and / or engage or reconnoiter areas.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

203.0 ft
61.87 m
25.0 ft
7.62 m
19.0 ft
5.79 m

Installed Power: Diesel-electric arrangement developing 6,100 horsepower to 1 x shaft.
Surface Speed
10.0 kts
(11.5 mph)
Submerged Speed
21.5 kts
(24.7 mph)
11,297 nm
(13,000 mi | 20,921 km)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
8 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes (14 torpedo reloads, also supports firing of UGM-84 Harpoon missiles).

Supported Types

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(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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