03 March 2005

Submarine delivery undecided yet

The South African Navy said on Wednesday reports that the first of its three new submarines would be shipped to South Africa because of a shortage of affirmative action crew were speculative and premature.

Rear-Admiral Rusty Higgs and Commander Brian Stockton said it was still to be decided whether the submarine would be brought to South Africa aboard a heavy-lift ship or under its own power.

Stockton said: "No decision has been taken yet about the way in which the navy's first Type 209 submarine, the S101, will be delivered to South Africa later this year.

"Various options are being considered, taking a number of factors into account.

"These include costs, safety of delivery and the availability of an escorting vessel."

Delivery by heavy-lift ship was not uncommon and was sometimes more cost-effective, if less dignified.


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