Mammoet South Africa, a branch of the global heavy lifting and transport specialist, has been contracted by Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) to assist with the launch of the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV). Procured by ARMSCOR, the acquisition agency of the South African Department of Defense, for the South African Navy, the vessels will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.

the launch of the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels
The launch of the first of three multi mission inshore patrol vessels

The vessel, weighing over 600t, was safely transported overnight from the DSCT shipyard to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) synchrolift at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Basin. The vessel was jacked up using Mammoet’s 150t jacks, and then transported from the fabrication yard to the synchrolift using 48 axle lines of SPMT to provide precision movement within the facility’s congested footprint.

Uzayr Karimulla, Project Manager Mammoet South Africa, says while moving the vessel at night meant less impact on traffic, the reduction in light came with its own challenges. “Through careful planning, close collaboration, and the teamwork between DSCT and Mammoet South Africa, our team made this move a success. We are very happy to have been part of the project, contributing to the advancement of safer waters in Southern Africa”.

The MMIPVs are built according to the patented Damen Axe Bow design, which ensures low resistance, high sustained speed in waves and superior seakeeping characteristics in the toughest conditions. As vertical accelerations are reduced significantly and bow slamming almost entirely eliminated, the safety of the vessel and crew increases considerably, reducing operational risks. The multi mission deck is used for supporting diving, search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.

The engineering of the vessel commenced in 2018 and the keel was laid in February 2019. “Despite the COVID lockdown period, our local skills and partnerships, resilient production schedule and advanced planning capabilities of our Cape Town team allowed the different subcontractors and teams to work on the vessel in a safe manner. The partnerships formed during this project have led to the successful launch of the MMIPV. One can truly state that the MMIPVs have been built in South Africa, by South Africans for South Africa” notes Eva Moloi, DSCT HR & Transformation Manager.

Once the vessel was raised onto the synchrolift, the project team waited for high tide to come in before moving it out of the V&A Basin via TNPA tugs towards the Elliot Basin. Testing of ship systems will commence immediately before the vessel is officially delivered to ARMSCOR / the South African Navy.