News

2021 March 25 18:12

Damen Shipyards Cape Town launches SA Navy’s first multi-mission inshore patrol vessel

On 25 March 2021, DAMEN Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) launched the first of three MultiMission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) procured by ARMSCOR for the South African Navy (SAN), according to the company's release.

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.

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) synchrolift at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Basin. The move was conducted by Mammoet South Africa, using 48 axle lines of SelfPropelled Mobile Transporters (SPMTs) to provide precision movement.

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.

“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 in a safe manner,” notes Moloi. 

Damen Shipyards Group

Damen Shipyards Group has been in operation for over ninety years and offers maritime solutions worldwide, through design, shipbuilding, ship repair and related services. DAMEN operates 36 shipyards in 18 countries and offers direct employment to more than 13,000 people. Damen’s values are fellowship, craftsmanship, entrepreneurship and stewardship. The company aims to be the most sustainable shipbuilder in the world, via digitalisation and standardisation of its products. Damen’s main activities are the design and serial construction of innovative ships by integrating diverse components and subsystems into high-quality platforms. These activities are supported by a worldwide sales and service network. DAMEN is also active in the repair and conversion of existing ships and the sale and production of components for the maritime industry.

Damen Shipyards Cape Town (Pty) Ltd:

A subsidiary of the DAMEN International Shipyard Group, DAMEN Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) builds ships in Africa for Africa and has to date constructed and delivered over 40 vessels for numerous countries on the African continent. These vessels have included offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and supply vessels. The Level 1 BEE rated company strives to be an employer of choice in the South African shipbuilding sector and is committed to furthering the future of the industry by expanding employment opportunities within it through the provision of internships, apprenticeships, learnerships and training. In addition, DSCT endeavours to build vessels that harness local materials and services and, where necessary, assist in the development of local suppliers and service providers to ensure that they meet the standards required for world class quality vessels. Through these efforts, DSCT actively participates in contributing towards local maritime entrepreneurship and job creation.