In a ceremony held at Simons Town Naval Base, Damen Shipyards handed over the first of three, state-of-the-art, Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) to the South African Navy. The vessel marks the culmination of four years of work for Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT).
A press statement from Damen stated, “The vessel being delivered will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.”
The 62m by 11m vessels have been designed by Damen to deliver a rapid response capability that is both effective and cost efficient. The vessel is the first Damen Sea Axe vessel to operate in South Africa where, along with its sister ships, its primary role will be to counter piracy, illegal fishing and smuggling operations. Damen added in the press release that their ability to accommodate at short notice containerised mission modules gives them a true multi-mission capability. “The patented design delivers exceptional seakeeping behaviour with the straight-edged bow cutting through the water thereby improving comfort and safety while reducing emissions and fuel consumption,” it stated.
Moreover, the MMIPV project is also playing an important role in creating skilled new jobs and acting as a catalyst for the development of regional supply chains. On its own, the MMIPV project is expected to generate more than one million man-hours of work during the construction of the three MMIPVs and will support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs at Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT). In addition, the yard is also focusing on nurturing small businesses to maximise local content.
Chairman of the Damen Shipyards Cape Town Board, Sam Montsi commented, “The delivery is a significant milestone in the story of Damen Shipyards Cape Town. It is the first time that a naval vessel of this calibre has been built at the yard and it is also the first of its class! Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, this beautiful vessel has been built to the required quality level which is an achievement that was realised by South African people, as most of the work and materials that went into the construction were sourced locally.”
“The yard has significantly grown during this process both in the quality of work and the safety standards achieved. This project has also allowed the yard to increase the impact of its transformation strategy by consistently delivering relevant development to the communities of South Africa.”
Work on the remaining two vessels is well underway at DSCT, with the second vessel handover being planned for 2023 and the third for 2024.