Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) launched the first of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) procured by ARMSCOR for the South African Navy (SAN)on 25 March, Damen announced.
The vessels will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing its capability to respond effectively, rapidly, and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.
DSCT Project Manager Ian Stewart says the launch is an important milestone for the shipyard. “This is the culmination of three years of hard work by a dedicated team of people. Ultimately, more than one million man-hours of work will be invested in the construction of the three MMIPVs.”
The more than 600-ton vessel was transported from the DSCT shipyard on the evening of 23 March 2021 to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) synchro-lift at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Basin. The move was conducted by Mammoet South Africa, using 48 axle lines of Self Propelled Mobile Transporters (SPMTs) to provide precision movement. Mammoet Project Manager, Uzayr Karimulla, says while moving the vessel at night meant a minor impact on traffic, the reduction in light came with its challenges. “Through careful planning, close collaboration, and the teamwork between DSCT and Mammoet South Africa, our team made this move a success. We are delighted to have been part of the project, contributing to the advancement of safer waters in Southern Africa.”
Once the Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel was raised onto the synchro-lift, the team waited for high tide to come in before moving it out of the V&A Basin via TNPA tugs towards the Elliot Bason. Before the end of the year, the ship systems’ testing will now commence before the vessel is officially delivered to ARMSCOR/SAN.
DSCT HR & Transformation Manager Eva Moloi says DSCT is particularly proud of the many years it has invested in local South African skills transfer, training, and entrepreneurship development and collaboration, which have resulted in a strong South African pool of scarce trade skills and supplier partnerships.
“Our local skills transfer and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) initiatives mean that we are not only contributing to the South African economy but ensuring that our local South African maritime market is less reliant on imports from international suppliers. DSCT fully supports the transfer of technology, the inclusion of local companies in the execution projects, and stimulation of export transactions under the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) program, which particularly focuses on benefiting SMMEs, Military Veteran (MV) Owned Entities and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Compliant Entities. The partnerships formed during this project have led to the successful launch of the MMIPV. One can truly state that the MMIPVs have been built in South Africa, by South Africans for South Africa,” she adds.
The engineering of the vessel commenced in 2018, and the keel was laid in February 2019. “Despite the COVID lockdown period, our local skills and partnerships, resilient production schedule, and advanced planning capabilities of our Cape Town team allowed the different subcontractors and teams to work on the vessel safely,” notes Moloi.
Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel:
The Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels are built according to the patented Damen Axe Bow design, which ensures low resistance, high sustained speed in waves, and superior seakeeping characteristics in the most challenging conditions.
The 62 x 11-meter naval vessel will be the first Damen Sea Axe vessel to operate in South Africa. The Sea Axe is a Damen patented design offering exceptional seakeeping behavior. The straight-edged, ax-shaped bow cuts through the water, minimizing slamming for improved safety and comfort onboard and significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
The Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel will be thrust with 4xfixed pitch propellers, and the maximum speed of the ship will be 30 knots. The MMIPVs will be able to accommodate 48 crew.
As vertical accelerations are reduced significantly and bow slamming almost eliminated, the Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel and crew’s safety increases considerably, reducing operational risks. The multi-mission deck is used for supporting diving, search and rescue, and anti-piracy operations.