There are three German warships off the coast of Struisbaai

I’m not saying that it’s necessarily anything to worry about.
(UPDATE: Or is there?)
I’m just saying that they’re there.


The Hessen, The Berlin and The Karlsruhe are probably just hanging around out there about 20 nautical miles offshore and enjoying the late summer calamari season. My sources tell me that squid is a very popular dish in Germany. Right?

The Berlin is essentially a supply ship, a support vessel for other German Navy ships.

Built in 1984, the Karlsruhe is a Bremen-class frigate. It’s got guns.

The Hessen is a more modern (2006) Sachsen-class frigate.

It’s got LOTS of guns:

These ships are optimized for the anti-air warfare role. The primary anti-air weapons are the 32-cell Mk 41 Mod 10 vertical launching system, equipped with twenty-four SM-2 Block IIIA missiles and thirty-two Evolved Sea Sparrowmissiles. Point-defense against cruise missiles is provided by a pair of 21-round Rolling Airframe Missile launchers. The ships are also equipped with two four-cell RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers.

For defense against submarines, the frigates carry two triple-launchers for the 324 mm (12.8 in) MU90 Impact torpedoes. The ships also carry a variety of guns, including one dual-purpose 62-caliber 76-millimeter (3.0 in) gun manufactured by OTO Melara.
They are also armed with two Rheinmetall 27 mm (1.1 in) MLG 27 remote-controlled autocannons in single mounts.

Oh yeah?
Well, I’ve got a catty that I picked up at the robots in Somerset West (although I’m not ever so accurate with it) and I also have a beagle, albeit that it’s a beagle that generally gets quite scared when confronted with anything bigger than a seagull. (c.f. the Hessen at a length of 143m and a displacement of 5,800 tonnes.)

Having compared the respective weaponry at our disposal (and despite having noted with some glee that they have no specific anti-beagle measures available to them), I think that the German warships can stay right where they are if they like, or they can can even come and take over Struisbaai if that’s what they want to do.

I, for one, welcome our new Teutonic overlords.

Confirmed positions this afternoon: here, here & here.

UPDATE: Obviously they’re here using the convenient old “bilateral exercise” story:

The aim of the bilateral exercise is to facilitate the sharing of maritime expertise and to strengthen the military cooperation between the two countries.

Sadly, given the distinct lack of any SA Navy vessels in the vicinity, I have a sinking feeling (pun intended) that the strengthening of military cooperation may have been a bit of a one way street.

22 thoughts on “There are three German warships off the coast of Struisbaai

  1. I saw a German way ship in the harbour at the V&A the other day (the 15th). I think it made a bad port call as it was only there for 5 mins or so. A tug turned it around and it sailed out again (so your beagle may be in with a chance).

  2. Okay. Quick question. Why do you say there’s a distinct lack of SA vessels on the area? Are you just going on AIS feed or visual confirmation?

  3. sea princess > Hi there. AIS only – the ships would probably be too far out to accurately identify visually (I don’t have a great telescope) (and I’m also in Cape Town at the moment).
    The SAS Spioenkop & SAS Manthathisi were apparently out there with them, but with AIS disabled.

    Ron > This gives me new hope. We shall practice “ferocious” barking again today, just in case.

  4. @6000. Only reason I commented is because I transit the coast often and know the SAN don’t transmit on their AIS. They frequently exercise in that area. Due to the proximity of the weapons depot. You can look up the nav area warnings on SANHO website for dates.

  5. sea princess > Yes, lots of fun to be had with the Overberg Test Range there, I’d imagine.
    Love watching the ships go by from Suiderstrand, but precious few military ones in amongst them.

    winford martin porton > Well, I’m asking you. Were they just parking off? Poorly-disguised chokka boats on the 12 mile bank, or what?

  6. Dawie SMIT. > So now we just need confirmation that the German Army have crossed into SA from Namibia and we’ve got the full house.


    The German Navy Task Group arrived in South Africa at the beginning of March to participate in Exercise Good Hope VI. The Task Group comprises the flagship Hessen and frigates Karlsruhe and Brandenburg. The exercise involved training officer cadets, harbour training, taking part in last weekend’s SA Navy Festival, and sea exercises.

  8. Dit mag wees as deel van n gesamentlike operasie met SA se Vloot, dit mag om ander redes ook wees, onbekend aan ons, daarom dat die Skepe in Internasionale waters voor anker le en niemand mag daaroor kapsie maak nie!
    Ons Vloot en Lugmag staan op wankelende bene met die feit dat die kundigheid die trekpas gekry het!
    Die een Fregat is wel met moderne duikboot opsporings navigasie toegerus, dus skakel dit n verrassings besoek van SA se Vloot uit veral met hulle moderne Duikboot opsporings navigasie asook die wapentuig teenwoordig aan boord!
    Ons is bewus van die Moderne Duitse Tegnologie waarvoor die Duitsers bekend staan!
    En ja, Siener se voorspelling dat Duitsers tot ons redding gaan kom, laat mens onwillekkeurig dink ne………..!

  9. Confirmed Romel just crossed over the border and now is in the Traansvaal in hot pursuit of a band of Zimbabwean farm attacker/revolutionary war vets.

  10. Martin Ellis > If they are really here for “ander redes, onbekend aan ons”, then they’re not doing a very good job of hiding themselves. I’m in an office in Cape Town and I’m watching their every move. I don’t think there’s anything very sinister about this.

    Or is there?

  11. Well I’m thankfull the Germans are here for us whites I hope, for all is against us, even our own president J Zuma and co. I hope they will shoot the hell out of them all,so only us will stay behind.

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