OSI systems complete First Article Acceptance Test for Project Biro


The Integrated Bridge System and Mission Management System for the first Project Biro inshore patrol vessel, supplied by OSI Maritime Systems, have successfully completed First Article Acceptance Tests as the programme moves forward.

First article testing consists of a series of formal contractual tests conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the manufacturing process, equipment, and procedures. These tests are conducted on a random sample from the first production lot.

OSI Maritime Systems supplies the Integrated Navigation and Tactical Systems for the vessels, which will be used for coastal maritime activities which include patrol and protection of economic waters.

“We’re proud of being part of the South African Biro programme and being able to optimise a system design,” commented Ken Kirkpatrick, President and CEO, OSI Maritime Systems. “As part of the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) and the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programmes we are very proud to work with Cybicom Atlas Defence, our local industrial partner, supporting a sustainable defence industry in South Africa.”

OSI said it engaged the customer, designing and providing an innovative bridge solution to meet their needs. The company fitted the IPV with a navigation and tactical suite that included OSI’s ECPINS (Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System), Tactical Asset Control and Tracking (T-ACT), and Integrated Mission Management System (IMMS). ECPINS, OSI’s proprietary Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS), is fully integrated into critical sensor inputs including X-band and S-band radars, magnetic compass, gyrocompass, W-AIS transponder, Inertial Navigation System, Optical Bearing Device, and a GPS module, OSI said.

“The addition of T-ACT and IMMS added additional tactical punch. Successfully used by the SAN since 2014, T-ACT hosts independent WECDIS and W-AIS functionality providing proven Command and Control (C2) capabilities. T-ACT ensures secure communication between the Mother Ship and associated Boarding Boat(s) in scenarios that involve surveillance, engagement of suspect craft, or operations at distance from Mother. The same WECDIS and T-ACT functionality will also be installed on the SAN’s new Hydrographic vessel and its survey boats,” OSI said.

The IMMS, designed specifically for patrol boats and offshore patrol vessels, provides: situational awareness and understanding, tactical aids and weapon support by integrating the various (combat) sensors and effectors with OSI’s ECPINS advanced WECDIS capabilities extended with extra tactical functions and the powerful OSI proprietary chart engine.

“I’d sum up the MMIPV as a patrol vessel with big capacity,” stated Jim Davison, VP, Business Development, OSI. “It was a very interesting project for OSI, as we applied solutions to this compact vessel that are typically found on bigger or combat ready ships.”

Three inshore patrol vessels are being acquired under Project Biro. In early 2018 Armscor announced it had placed the order with Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) under a six year project (deliveries are expected between 2021 and 2023). DSCT is supplying three 62×11 metre Stan Patrol 6211 vessels, which have a maximum speed of 26.5 knots, a range of 4 000 nautical miles, and a crew of up to 62. The vessels will each carry one 7 metre long RHIB and one 9 metre long RHIB for boarding operations.

Combat equipment will include a combat management system, radar, forward gun position and heavy machinegun positions. Reutech is supplying 20 mm Super Sea Rogue turrets, as well as RTS 3200 Optronics Radar Tracker (FORT) systems and communications systems.

DSCT laid the keel of the first IPV in February 2019, which is on track to be delivered in mid-2021. The keel of the second vessel was laid on 28 August this year.