17 Oct 2022

Damen Shipyards Cape Town celebrates blessing ceremony for second MMIPV

Blessing ceremony held at Damen Shipyards Cape Town for the second of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels

Hans Buitelaar

On 14 October 2022, the South African Navy (SAN) held a blessing ceremony for the second of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) at Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT).

During the event, the vessel was blessed and a bottle of champagne was broken over the bow as is the custom. The South African flag was raised on the vessel and she was cheered by her crew.

Sefale Montsi, Director at DSCT said: “With this ceremony, this vessel will soon join her sister, SAS King Sekhukhune I in successfully sailing South African and International waters. The project continues to meet the client’s specifications, on time and within budget. Damen Shipyards Cape Town and our growing local supply chain stand ready to deliver more of these much-needed vessels to our navy.”

Gen Rudzani Maphwanja, Chief of SA National Defence Force

“We are pleased with the progress that has been made thus far”, said Armscor Group Executive Acquisition and Supply Chain Management, Mr. M.P. Teffo.  Armscor is the acquisition agency for the Department of Defence in South Africa. “We are committed to providing the South African National Defence Force with state-of-the-art defence materiel they require to protect the sovereignty of the country. This MMIPV Project demonstrates our capability to deliver on complex acquisition solutions. We are looking forward to the delivery of this second Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel next year.”

After today’s ceremony, the second MMIPV will be launched into the water and then delivered to SAN in 2023 after extensive acceptance trials. The third vessel will be delivered one year later in 2024. The vessels will all contribute to South Africa’s maritime security in strengthening the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly, and cost-efficiently to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.

The MMIPV project is also playing an important role in creating skilled new jobs and acting as a catalyst for the development of regional supply chains. On its own, the MMIPV project is expected to generate more than one million man-hours of work during the construction of the three MMIPVs and will support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. Beyond work on the vessel, DSCT benefits from the global reach of Damen Shipyards Group to secure new business for South African industry.

“This project has also allowed the yard to increase the impact of its transformation strategy and we have achieved a level 1 BEE rating. Our strategy to make transformation part of business as usual made it possible to over-deliver on Armscor’s requirements for engagement of local businesses and workforce, as well as vessel capabilities,” Ms. Montsi said.

The 62m by 11m vessels have been designed by Damen to deliver a rapid response capability that is both effective and cost efficient. The vessel is the second Damen Sea Axe vessel to operate in South African waters where, along with her sister ships, her primary role will be to counter piracy, illegal fishing and smuggling operations. The patented design delivers exceptional seakeeping behaviour with the straight-edged bow cutting through the water, thereby improving comfort and safety while reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Many of the components are commercial off-the-shelf, significantly reducing running and maintenance costs.

On the top image: Sefale Montsi, Director of Damen Shipyards Cape Town