The Royal Moroccan Navy has received the second of three Sigma-class frigates, Sultan Moulay Ismail, from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).
The delivery follows a $1.2bn contract signed by the Moroccan Navy with DSNS for the procurement of two Light frigates SIGMA 9813 and one Light frigate SIGMA 10145, which are modified versions of the existing Sigma-class design.
The three multi-mission Sigma-class frigates are based on DSNS’s SIGMA-approach and are an advanced variant of the Sigma corvettes for the Indonesian Navy.
Designed to perform traditional naval tasks and maritime security operations, the frigates will also support humanitarian aid operations for the navy.
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The Sigma-class frigates will be armed with MBDA-supplied MM40 Exocet surface-to-surface missiles and an Oto Melara 76mm main gun.
The Sigma-class frigate’s propulsion and sea keeping capabilities are ideally suited for Moroccan territorial waters operations, and the vessels are also capable of performing maritime patrols and surveillance in territorial waters and in exclusive economic zones.
The first frigate, Tarik Ben Zayid, was commissioned on 10 September 2011 and the third frigate is currently under construction.
The crew of Sultan Moulay Ismail frigate will undergo three weeks of Sail Safety Training in Den Helder and North Sea, which will be conducted by the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The second frigate will begin its maiden voyage to Morocco in April 2012, after its commissioning and completion of crew training.
DSNS is building the frigates in Vlissingen for the Moroccan Navy as part of the navy’s plans to modernise its fleet and extend its patrol capabilities.