Almost one year after the keel-laying ceremony of the first multipurpose modular patrol vessel (MMPV) for the Bulgarian Navy, the keel-laying of the second vessel took place in Varna, Bulgaria. The traditional ceremony was attended by numerous guests from politics, the Navy and local business, as well as the newly appointed Minister of Defence, Todor Tagarev. Both vessels are being built at MTG Dolphin in Varna under the management of German NVL Group, formerly Lürssen Defence, with the involvement of many Bulgarian suppliers.

“Despite COVID and all effects it has had on the supply chain, we are working to plan with another milestone achieved in time. Moreover, the excellent teamwork of all involved is key to ensure we meet these milestones”, explained Dirk Malgowski, Managing Director of NVL B.V. & Co. KG. “The keel-laying of the second MMPV vessel marks an important juncture for the programme. From now on, we will be working visibly on two ships in parallel. This lifts the challenge for all involved in the design and construction and everyone is excited about the steady increase of activities on the shipyard and in the offices.”

The construction of the second vessel started in December last year. The 90 metres long vessels with a displacement of approximately 2,300t are based on a proven NVL design and feature an integrated combat management system. Both units are capable of countering air- and land-based threats as well as surface and undersea threats. Accordingly, the vessels are predestined for tasks within the framework of international alliance missions for NATO and the EU.

“Today’s event is confirming once again our commitment to the project and valuable cooperation amongst all stakeholders. Despite numerous challenges, our joint effort brings the results, which are visible with the first ship close to launching and the second already in progress. Partnership between NVL, MTG, NTB and Bulgarian Navy will continue to be vital for timely and within-budget delivery of the project” said Svetlin Stoyanov, CEO of MTG Dolphin.

During the keel-laying ceremony, representatives from the project affixed a brass plate with four coins onto a wooden block, each coin symbolising one of the parties involved in the project – the Bulgarian Navy, NVL Group, MTG Dolphin and one in commemoration to the event. This was then placed beneath
2/2 the keel block, which was lowered to meet the plate in a celebratory process. This centuries-old custom is said to bring good luck to both the ship and the crew.