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Portugal contracts Damen for multi-purpose vessel designed for integrated uncrewed air and sea systems

27th November 2023 - 07:41 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The new ship will have a heavy focus on deploying unmanned vehicles. (Image: Damen Shipyards)

The new ship’s primary roles will be search and rescue, emergency relief and oceanic research but will also be used for naval support operations and maritime safety.

Damen Shipyards Group will design and build a 107-metre long Multi-Purpose Vessel (MPV) with 650sqm cargo deck and space for 12 20-foot containers for the Portuguese Navy.

The ship will be named NRP D. João II and will be expected to enter service in 2026.

The MPV, classified by the Portuguese Navy as a Multifunctional Naval Platform (PNM), will be used for naval support operations and maritime safety, but its primary role will be for emergency relief, search and rescue, and oceanic research.

Key features of the platform include a large deck for helicopters, a stern ramp for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and Unmanned Surface Vehicles), and a 94x11-metre flight deck and hangars for UAVs.

The large cargo deck and space for 12 20-foot containers means modular systems such as containerised hospital facilities, hyperbaric chambers, or ROV equipment could be installed as required.

The Portuguese Navy currently has two Damen-built vessels in service. These are the 122m long Bartolomeu Dias-class multi-purpose frigates NRP Bartolomeu Dias and NRP D. Francisco de Almeida. Both vessels originally served in the Royal Netherlands Navy (as Karel Doorman class frigates) before undergoing a substantial modernisation programme by Damen and the Dutch Command Materiel and IT agency.

The Shephard News Team


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