Damen and SA Shipyards in the lead to build new Navy hulls


Armscor has announced the preferred bidders to supply the SA Navy with seven new hulls more than two years after tenders were issued.

Damen Shipyards Cape Town has been selected as the preferred bidder to execute both the inshore and offshore patrol vessel contracts (Project Biro) with Durban-based Southern African Shipyards (SAS) chosen to supply a new hydrographic survey capability (Project Hotel).

Armscor General Manager: Marketing And Business Development, Lulu Mzili, told defenceWeb the requests for offer contained “critical criteria”, including meeting the imperatives of Operation Phakisa as regards local content. This means 60% of the new additions to the Navy fleet have to be locally sourced.
“Damen Shipyards Cape Town and Southern African Shipyards have been appointed preferred bidders, subject to the successful negotiation of detailed technical and commercial conditions with the aim of arriving at a contracting position for the execution of the projects.
“Detailed commercial and technical negotiations with the preferred bidders will now commence with the relevant parties,” she said, but did not give any information on either commencement or completion dates.

The three IPVs and three OPVs will substantially boost the Navy’s patrolling ability, currently the responsibility of refurbished strikecraft and Valour Class frigates. Indications are the new additions to the fleet will work in support of Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) vessels to prevent illegal fishing and looting of maritime resources.

The new hydrographic vessel will replace the Hecla Class SAS Protea (A324) which has been in service since she was commissioned in May 1972 – just on 45 years ago.