Damen ceremonially laid the keel of South African Navy first MMIPV

On February 23, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) has ceremonially laid the keel for the South African Navy’s first of class Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel (MMIPV) at its shipyard in the Port of Cape Town.

Damen ceremonially laid the keel of South African Navy first MMIPV Artist rendering of the three Multi-mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (Picture source : Damen Shipyards Cape Town)

As explained by Chief of the South African Navy Vice-Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane, a keel laying ceremony is an important tradition for any shipyard. It is naval tradition that every ship constructed for service be honoured on four historical ceremonial occasions, being: the keel laying; the christening (or launching); the commissioning; and decommissioning.

Although most ships are constructed using a modular system that does not include a traditional keel, the keel laying ceremony is still an important part of the construction process. Traditionally, the ceremony is meant to invite good luck during the construction of the ship and continued good fortune throughout the life of the vessel, whereby a commemorative coin is placed into the area of the keel and welded into place. The event in a modern sense celebrates the first milestone of a ship’s construction.

As a reminder, the acquisition of the MMIPV under the R1.5 billion Project Biro was approved in October 2017. The new vessel, P1571, will be completed in 2021 and is expected to be commissioned in June the same year. The second and third platforms are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The IPVs will be the first vessels of a Damen Sea Axe design to operate in South Africa. The Sea Axe is a revolutionary, Damen patented hull design, which offers exceptional seakeeping behavior. The straight-edged, axe-shaped bow cuts through the water, minimising slamming for improved safety and comfort on board and significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

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