Tunisian Navy receives another offshore patrol vessel


The Tunisian Navy has received another Multi Service Offshore Patrol Vessel (MSOPV) from Damen – the third of four destined for the North African nation.

The MSOPV 1400, named Hannon (P612), began sea trials on the Black Sea on 26 June and was delivered by the Galati shipyard on 27 July, a day earlier than stipulated in the contract. The vessel departed Romania on 11 August, according to ship tracking websites, and arrived in Tunisia on 17 August.

IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly notes that has a slightly different configuration to the first two ships, Jugurtha (P 610) and Syphax (P 611). It does not have a helicopter deck.

Syphax was commissioned into service at the beginning of July this year, along with the locally built patrol vessel Kerkouane (P212).

Tunisia ordered four MSOPV 1400 vessels from Damen in 2016, with the first of class, Jugurtha, delivered in March this year. The vessels are being constructed at Damen’s shipyard in Galati in Romania, with Syphax being completed on 2 May. The final vessel on order (Sophonisbe) will be delivered by the end of 2018, according to Minister of National Defence Abdul-Karim al-Zubaidi. The vessel is expected to arrive at the end of October.

The MSOPV 1400s have a length of 72 metres, a beam of 12.7 metres and a draft of 3.75 metres. The vessels displace approximately 1 284 tonnes and are powered by two Caterpillar engines delivering a total of 7 060 kW, giving a top speed of 20 knots.

The MSOPV is Damen’s second generation offshore patrol vessel design and incorporates Damen’s Sea Axe hull shape for superior seakeeping – the new OPV is fuel efficient and capable of speeds up to 25/26 knots, Damen said.

A Multi-Mission Bay can be equipped with dedicated mission modules and a nine metre RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat), which can be launched over a dedicated slipway through the rear of the vessel while the OPV is sailing. The Multi-Mission Hangar is capable of storing a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).