Durban-based Southern African Shipyards (SAS) has signed a deal to build the South African Navy’s new hydrographic survey ship that will be based on Vard Marine’s (VARD’s) design.

The new vessel will replace the SAS Protea.

The winning bid is based on VARD 9 105 science vessel concept. It is a well-proven design that has been specifically tailored to South Africa’s unique requirements and designed to incorporate the latest hydrographic and oceanographic sensor suite.

VARD was contracted to complete the basic design and support SAS through a detailed construction of the VARD 9 105 science vessel.

As a result, the ship was upgraded into a 95m-length PC7 ice-strengthened vessel with approximately 7800kW propulsion power, a shafted controllable pitch propeller and a maximum speed of 18 knots.

The vessel has a 10,000nm range with 44-days endurance. It will be manned by a total of 120 people, including ships’ crew and scientists.

The VARD 9 105 is an evolution from the VARD-designed hydrographic survey vessels HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise that were successfully delivered to the UK Royal Navy in 2002.

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