The South African Navy celebrated the naming ceremony of the second Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel (MMIPV) in Durban harbour. The vessel was officially christened as SAS King Shaka Zulu, in honour of the great Zulu King. Built entirely in South Africa at Damen Shipyards Cape Town, it is designed to provide rapid response capabilities along South Africa’s extensive coastline and will play a crucial role in safeguarding national waters.
The choice of King Shaka’s name carries significance, symbolizing strength and perpetuating his legacy at sea, paying homage to the Zulu nation’s vital role in South Africa’s rich history.
The vessel’s Sea Axe hull design, patented by Damen, ensures exceptional seakeeping behaviour, reduced fuel consumption, and enhanced safety and comfort on board. Equipped with advanced military equipment, these vessels enhance the navy’s capacity to respond effectively and swiftly to threats like piracy, illegal fishing, and smuggling operations.
The MMIPV project not only strengthens South Africa’s maritime security but also makes a substantial contribution to job creation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A total of 848 local vendors actively participated in the construction, highlighting the effectiveness of South Africa’s industrial participation policy.
Throughout the project, it is estimated to have generated more than one million man-hours of work, supported over 1,000 direct jobs at Damen Shipyards Cape Town, and engaged nearly 4,000 individuals indirectly. The project has also fortified regional supply chains and created opportunities for skilled job seekers, promoting economic prosperity in South Africa’s Ocean Economy.
Vice Admiral Lobese commended the Integrated Project Team, including Damen Shipyards Cape Town, Armscor, and the Defence Materiel Division, for their outstanding work in building these ships on time, within budget, and to specification. He hailed it as a testament to various companies and organizations coming together for the benefit of South Africans.
Sefale Montsi, Director of Damen Shipyards Cape Town, emphasized the broader impact of this project on the nation’s industrialization journey. She highlighted the importance of supporting local vessel suppliers to create jobs, develop transferrable skills, and stimulate other industries.
The MMIPV project stands as a significant success story for the South African Navy and the country’s shipbuilding and maritime industry.