March 13 (UPI) -- South Africa's Denel and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems are collaborating to provide support for the South African navy's frigates and submarines, the companies announced on Monday.
The memorandum of understanding between the two companies was signed recently in Germany and comes as Denel prepares to revive naval dockyard facilities in Simonstown.
Under the accord, Denel's Maritime division will be responsible for maintenance and upgrades on three Heroine-Class submarines and four Valour-Class frigates of the navy. The vessels were commissioned by the SA navy between 2005 and 2008.
TKMS, the original manufacturer of the submarines and frigates, will provide technical and shipyard support as subcontractors to Denel. Work will include quality assurance and procurement, on-site technical support, the transfer of technology and the development of the local supply chain.
TKMS will also train Denel's technical personnel.
"This is a major breakthrough for the South African maritime sector as Denel becomes responsible for specialist services on some of the world's most-sophisticated submarines and frigates," Denel's acting chief executive officer, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, said in a press release.
"These vessels are the sharp end of South Africa's naval forces and the primary protectors of our coastline against possible intruders and illegal incursions into our territorial waters."