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This is a novel about the South African Navy in a fictional account of a war in the future. It involves all the modern naval aquisitions and the plot can be seen as a projection of the Navy's role in future conflicts in Southern Africa.

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Data sheet

Author Simon Norval
Cover Type Paper-back
ISBN 10 1-920169-54-7
ISBN 13 978-1-920169-54-1
Number of Pages 322
Size A5
Publication Date 10 May 2007
Illustrations/Photos Some colour photos of equipment and ships
Colour pages Some colour photos of equipment and ships
Binding Perfect Bound

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This is a novel about the South African Navy in a fictional account of a war in the future. It involves all the modern naval aquisitions and the plot can be seen as a projection of the Navy's role in future conflicts in Southern Africa.

From the author:



his book has been written at a time when the South African government has through its much vaunted, and often controversial ‘arms package’, acquired for the use of its Navy, new frigates, maritime helicopters and conventional submarines.

The South African Navy itself is currently undergoing a metamorphosis from that of a ‘small ship’ Navy to that of one with a potential of becoming a larger, regional and continental maritime force. On this basis, it provides the capability of ‘out of area’ operations with extensive liaison and collaboration with other African nations and their Navies. Not that of romantic ‘blue water’ stuff, but acting rather as an instrument of the nation’s foreign policy in terms of providing monitoring, peacekeeping and, if necessary, intervention within the context of coastal, littoral and riverine operations.

As the economic powerhouse of the region, and in fact, Africa itself, South Africa also dominates regional and African politics through the catalyst provided by SADC and the fledgling African Parliament. Its responsibility, therefore, extends not only over its own expansive Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) of some two million square nautical miles, but also, as Africa’s ‘senior partner’, within the seaward territorial limits of other African maritime nations.

Whereas South Africa remains, after its democratic transformation process, essentially stable and prosperous, Africa itself remains in turmoil, with civil wars, sporadic inter-tribal genocide, coups d’état, civil unrest and insurgency commonplace.

This novel attempts to sketch possible or even likely scenario’s within which the South African Navy could operate. To this end, I have, as far as possible, devised scenarios and events that could be considered credible within the African littoral context.

Although the core of this book is that of ‘naval stuff’, the relationship to the service and its government and other governments are played out through the medium of largely fictitious persons and entirely fictitious situations.

The plot develops from an essentially naval perspective and attempts to demystify a typical regional maritime conflict for the layman. It was therefore inevitable that an abundance of ‘naval jargon’ would have to be used, in keeping with that used by the Navy. Without this, the plot would have been devoid of plausibility and thus meaningless.

The novel similarly attempts to tap into the typical psyche of naval personnel, from the highest echelons of command down to the younger sailors as well as those people whose lives are directly or otherwise affected by the activities and ways of the Navy.

The capabilities and limitations of all naval ships, specifically those of the frigates and submarines, are described in general terms only.  The associated analysis of frigate system performance, made throughout the book, are typical attributes associated with, and encountered by, all naval systems and do not specifically reflect on SA Navy system characteristics.

The characteristics and attributes of all combat platforms (in ships and aircraft alike) and their weapons fits, are based entirely on information available in the open literature and to be found in unclassified ‘glossies’. Such systems have also been deliberately defined in general terms so as not to compromise actual capabilities. Any deviations from actual characteristics have also been at my discretion.

The actual classes and names of South African warships, support vessels and helicopters have been used to add realism to the plot. As the second Class-209 submarine (S102) had not been named at the time of publication, I have given her a ‘temporary’ and hopefully appropriate name.

The names of all personnel used in this book, with notable exceptions, are entirely fictitious. The extent to which actual names of organisations and places have been retained or changed has been entirely at my discretion.

Despite the criticality in terms of the fighting Navy’s roles in protecting sovereign maritime territorial limits and thereby ensuring uninhibited maritime trade, South Africans, indeed most Africans, remain generally indifferent to roles played in this regard. Hopefully, this story will at the very least instil a better recognition and empathy for the protectors of the high seas, if not their begrudging admiration.

 About the Author

Simon Norval has worked both in and for the South African Navy over the last 30 years.

After matriculating, he joined the Navy and completed his midshipman training and initial junior Deck officer training. After a short stint on Minesweepers, he then completed degrees in Military Science and Electronic Engineering. He thereafter served a 3 year period in the Strike Craft Flotilla, Durban during which time he qualified and served as weapons officer and project systems engineer.

Simon resigned his commission in 1989 and was then for a lengthy period employed by the Institute for Maritime Technology, Simon’s Town and, periodically, the local Naval industry.

Simon was a core design and development member of the new Naval Patrol Corvettes and their combat systems and currently serves this project as a professional consulting engineer.

Simon specializes in Naval Operational Test and Evaluation, Radar and Electronic Warfare and is also a part time Naval technical lecturer.

There are 28 Colour images included in this book which illustrate the actual ships and hardware that is mentioned in the story.