13 Oct 2022

Keel laying and steel cutting ceremony at Damen Shipyards

Construction of two OPV 2600 vessels for Pakistan Navy started at Damen Shipyards Galatí

Hans Buitelaar

Construction started of two OPV 2600 vessels for Pakistan Navy

Celebrating the start of the construction of a second batch of two Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Pakistan Navy, the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi performed the initial welding work on the keel of the first vessel at Damen Shipyards Galatí on October 12th 2022. Mrs Annelies Damen, Member of the Supervisory Board, welcomed the Admiral and his delegation on behalf of the Damen family for a celebration of the continued co-operation.

Together with the keel laying of the first vessel planned for completion, first plates of steel were cut for the construction of the second of two Damen OPV 2600 multi mission patrol vessels. These will provide the Pakistan Navy with a highly effective search and rescue capability, and allow it to play an important role in safeguarding international trade routes from piracy and other threats. The ships are equipped for extended range and performance and benefit from advanced communication systems.

The company of representatives and invitees at the Steel cutting and keel laying ceremony at Damen Shipyards Galatí

This order for two more OPV vessels from Damen was issued by the Pakistan Navy following their positive experiences with two OPV’s from the Shipyard Group they already operate. The initial order for construction of two OPV’s was awarded to Damen by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense Production following the completion of a transparent bidding process in which Damen’s design and construction proposal was found to be the most suited for Pakistan’s maritime needs.  In February and November 2020, two OPV 2300’s were delivered. Performance and capabilities of these vessels, known in the Pakistan Navy as the Yarmook class, led to a second order. The two bigger OPV’s are planned for delivery in February and August 2024.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi engages the steel cutting machine at Damen Shipyards Galatí

The Admiral underscored the importance of OPV’s in the maritime domain in his speech at the ceremony. These ships will act as force multipliers in enhancing the navy’s capability of safeguarding maritime frontiers and will offer more flexibility for the Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) in the Indian Ocean. The Pakistan Navy has been playing its role in providing a secure sea environment, not only to Pakistan but also to the world community. The Admiral appreciated the professional competence of Damen design and construction teams. The ceremony was attended by senior officials from Pakistan   Navy, from the Romanian Navy and local administration of the city of Galatí as well as directors from Damen Shipyards.

On the top image from left to right: Damen Shipyards Supervisory Board Member Annelies Damen, Damen Shipyards Area Sales Manager Teun Haverkort, the Damen business partner in Pakistan and Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi