Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) has conducted a keel-laying ceremony for the third multi-mission inshore patrol vessel (MMIPV) being built for the South African Navy (SAN).
The multi-mission inshore patrol vessels will ‘augment’ SAN’s maritime security efficiently, quickly and cost-effectively to combat piracy and illegal fishing, among other maritime threats.
South African arms procurement agency ARMSCOR is procuring a total of three MMIPVs as part of SAN’s Project BIRO.
In 2018, DSCT secured an order for the delivery of three inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) as part of Project Biro, which seeks to boost the country’s maritime security and responds effectively to threats.
Project BIRO vessels are custom-made to meet the specific requirements of the South African Navy.
DSCT managing director Jankees Trimpe Burger said: “The project undertaking serves as a demonstration of Damen Maritime Security Solutions in action. With this initiative, Damen not only delivers a ship, but also a total maritime solution, encompassing every aspect of vessel operation throughout the lifecycle, as well as a contribution to a sustainable maritime industry in the region in which it operates.”
Construction of the vessels involves more than one million man-hours of work.
Being built as per the patented Damen Axe Bow design, the MMIPVs ensure low resistance and high sustained wave speed in harsh environments.
The MMIPVs will be the first Sea Axe vessels to carry out operations in South Africa.
In March this year, DSCT launched the first MMIPV for the South African Navy.
ARMSCOR CEO advocate Solomzi Mbada said that the project involves the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment.
In addition, the project contributes to the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) and National Industrial Participation (NIP) initiatives and complies with the Department of Trade and Industry’s requirement to use 60% local content in shipbuilding.