Damen Shipyards launches South African Navy’s 1st inshore patrol vessel


According to a press release published by Damen Shipyards Cape Town on 25 March 2021, the firm launched the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) procured by ARMSCOR for the South African Navy (SAN).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels MMIPV (Picture source: Damen Shipyards Cape Town)


The vessels will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.

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) synchrolift 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 less impact on traffic, the reduction in light came with its own challenges. “Through careful planning, close collaboration, and the teamwork between DSCT and Mammoet South Africa, our team made this move a success. We are very happy to have been part of the project, contributing to the advancement of safer waters in Southern Africa.”

Once the vessel was raised onto the synchrolift, 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. The testing of the ship systems will now commence before the vessel will officially be delivered to ARMSCOR/SAN, before the end of the year.

The MMIPVs are built according to the patented Damen Axe Bow design, which ensures low resistance, high sustained speed in waves and superior sea keeping characteristics in the toughest conditions.

As vertical accelerations are reduced significantly and bow slamming almost eliminated, the safety of the vessel and crew increases considerably, reducing operational risks. The multi mission deck is used for supporting diving, search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.

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.

The engineering of the vessel commenced in 2018 and the keel was laid in February 2019.

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, 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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