Spanish Shipbuilder Navantia and African-based global defence and aerospace business, Paramount Group, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop naval systems and vessels that will meet the increasing demand of South Africa and other African states, for innovative and value-adding maritime solutions to bolster the security of their marine and coastal assets.
This MoU expands cooperation from the previous agreement between the two companies, that was specifically signed for project BIRO.
The scope of the collaboration will be defined based on customer requirements in the maritime industry across five key areas, namely through-life support management, combat systems and platform systems integration, procurement management of materials and equipment, operational maintenance training and the transfer of technology.
The agreement, which was signed between Mr Jose Manuel Revuelta, Navantia’s President and Mr Eric Ichikowitz, Group International Marketing Director of Paramount Group, comes amid a growing need to protect and secure Africa’s coastlines, great lakes and rivers, and political and economic assets, including oil pipelines, shipping lanes, fisheries, tourist areas and national borders.
Mr Juan Sell, Ambassador of Spain to South Africa, hosted the event at his residence in Pretoria. Navantia is a state-owned company that is strongly supported by the Spanish Government.
President of Navantia, Mr Jose Manuel Revuelta said: "Navantia and Paramount have been collaborating in the last months on a joint offshore patrol vessel proposal for project BIRO for the South African Navy.
"An excellent relationship between both companies has been established and this agreement is a step further that sets the basis for cooperation on new business opportunities in South Africa and other countries in the region and broader international market.
"Navantia’s experience in the design and construction of world-leading technology naval vessels and systems, transfer of technology, and through-life cycle support provides a key benefit to offer well-proven, low risk and value for money solutions for customers."
Eric Ichikowitz, group international marketing director of Paramount Group said: "There has never been a greater need for naval security in the waters around South Africa and the rest of the continent.
"New oil and gas resources are being discovered every month and those resources, together with industries like tourism and fisheries, are critical to the growth of African states.
"We are committed to growing an innovative and competitive shipbuilding industry in South Africa, supporting the goals of Operation Phakisa, by growing the local shipbuilding industry, increasing the contribution to GDP and multiplying the number of jobs in South Africa.
"Our partnership with Navantia will provide 21st century solutions to protect African maritime assets by meeting their specific requirements and budgets. We are driven to create and build customised vessel solutions that our clients can afford to own and operate."
The agreement identifies several areas of collaboration as transfer of technology, through lifecycle support, combat systems and platform systems integration, including in land products, procurement management, and operational and maintenance training.
The partnership is a great opportunity for Navantia and Paramount and a great step forward on success in the African markets.