Twelve shipyards at Project Hotel bid conference

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No less than 12 shipyards, half of them South African, have signalled interest in supplying the SA Navy with a new hydrographic vessel.

Representatives from all 12 attended a recent four day long bidders’ conference in Simon’s Town as a precursor to Armscor obtaining formal and binding offers for the acquisition of a new hydrographic capability for the maritime arm of service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

In addition to a replacement for the ageing SAS Protea, now 43 years old, the successful bidder will also be responsible for supplying a pair of inshore survey motorboats, integrated with the hydrographic vessel; a sea boat and a hangar-flight deck arrangement for a medium-sized maritime helicopter.

The statement of work, as it currently stands, also includes an upgrade to the current shore-based hydrographic office infrastructure at Silvermine and associated logistic support, including a spare motorboat, fully equipped and operationally qualified.

It appears the airborne element of the project will come from the SA Air Force (SAAF) either via its existing maritime helicopter capability of four Super Lynx 300s operated by 22 Squadron from AFB Ysterplaat or a yet to be announced acquisition.

All shipyards at the bidders’ conference were Level Five offerors – indicating complete system supply to the Navy.

A representative of one of the South African shipyards who attended the Simon’s Town conference said it was “well co-ordinated by the Navy and was extremely informative on explanation of the commercial terms of the offer”.



There is, at this stage, no indication of when Armscor will move onto the next stage of Project Hotel.