Moroccan Navy commissions its third SIGMA-class frigate
The Royal Moroccan Navy has commissioned its third and final Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS)-built SIGMA-class multi-mission frigate, Allal Ben Abdellah in Vlissingen, Netherlands.
Transfer and commissioning follows a $1.2bn contract signed between the Moroccan Navy and DSNS for delivery of two Light frigates SIGMA 9813 and one SIGMA 10145, which are modified versions of the existing class design.
Three-weeks of sail safety training for the crew of Allal Ben Abdellah will be conducted by the Royal Netherlands Navy's guidance team in Den Helder and the North Sea, the frigate will then set sail for deployment at the end of this month.
Equipped with MBDA-supplied MM40 Exocet surface-to-surface missiles and an Oto Melara 76mm main gun, the frigates were developed based on DSNS's SIGMA-approach and can be used to support traditional naval tasks, maritime security operations, as well as humanitarian aid operations for the navy.
The 97.9m-long SIGMA-class frigate has a displacement capacity of 2,075t, a beam of 13.02m, a draft of 3.75m and is capable of carrying a crew of 91.
An advanced variant of the Indonesian Navy's SIGMA corvettes, the three multi-mission frigates are powered by two SEMT Pielstick diesel engines driving two controllable pitch propellers.
Propulsion and sea keeping capabilities of the SIGMA-class frigates makes them well suited for Moroccan territorial waters operations for performing maritime patrols and surveillance, as well as in exclusive economic zones.
Procurement of three SIGMA-class vessels is a part of the Moroccan Navy's plans to modernise its fleet and extend patrol capabilities.
The first and second Moroccan Navy's SIGMA-class frigates, Tarik Ben Zayid and Sultan Moulay Ismail, were commissioned on 10 September 2011 and 10 March 2012 respectively.
Image: Moroccan Navy's second SIGMA-class frigate Sultan Moulay Ismail. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.