The impressive United States aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is shown below during her visit to Cape Town in 2007. Aircraft are stowed below deck and are lifted onto the flight deck (the large flat deck shown here), prepared for take-off and take off from the flight deck. They land on the flight deck and are stopped by steel cables across the deck.
Because there are so many types of warships, we shall confine this note to the types of ships operated by the South African Navy.
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The frigate SAS Isandlwana. Apart from the standard guns, frigates have an anti-submarine capacity and are equipped with missiles. A hangar and helipad on the after deck allow the frigate to be supported in her anti-submarine or anti-piracy roles by a helicopter. Photograph : Brian Ingpen
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The submarine SAS Manthatisi. She and her two sisterships were built in Germany. Photograph : South African Navy
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SAS Umhloti, a minehunter. This class of warship hunts for and destroys mines (explosive devices) laid in the sea with the aim of damaging and even sinking ships that collide with the mine. Photograph : Brian Ingpen
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The hydrographic survey ship SAS Protea is used to do surveys of the seabed so that charts (maps used by ships’ officers for navigation) can be drawn for that area of the sea. Photograph : South African Navy
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Coastal patrol vessels at sea off Simon’s Town. Nine of these ships were built (seven in Durban and two in Israel) and they were designed to carry surface-to-surface missiles, but as this function has been allocated to the frigates, the role of vessels of this class was changed to do coastal patrols. Photograph : Brian Ingpen
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SAS Drakensberg was built in Durban as a fleet replenishment vessel, i.e. to carry supplies of food and ammunition for the other ships, and she also can refuel ships at sea. Photograph : Brian Ingpen