Project Biro will deliver three inshore patrol vessels by 2023
South African Navy celebrates start of Project Biro
SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town: Around 300 guests were invited to celebrate the official launch of Project Biro at a keel laying ceremony hosted by Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) today.
Speaking at the function, Chairman of DSCT, Sam Montsi, said that the three vessels would be built within specification and to budget. "The ARMSCOR evaluation process was robust and we are proud to have won the tender," he said commenting that he hoped that the original scope of the project, that included a further three offshore patrol vessels, could be revisited.
Montsi added that it was encouraging to see how Operation Phakisa had impacted on the local shipbuilding sector by stipulating that all vessels required by the State should be built locally.
Vice Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane, noted the importance of the multi-mission vessels for the navy. "These vessels will be the workhorses of the Navy and reduce the workload of the Navy's existing fleet," he said adding that they would provide a cost-effective platform to undertake efficient missions within South Africa's maritime domain aimed at addressing issues of illegal fishing and trafficking.
The first vessel is due to be completed and be in service by June 2021. The second and third vessels will follow in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Also on hand to mark the occasion, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said; "This new multi-mission inshore patrol vessels will cater for the roles and obsolescence of Navy vessels such as the Strike Craft, Mine Countermeasures Vessels and the Torpedo Recovery Vessel that have been in service for more than 40 years."