First South African-built Damen Patrol Vessels Completed

FCS 5009 Patrol vessel

Published Jan 15, 2015 10:44 AM by The Maritime Executive

Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) has completed the build of two FCS 5009 Patrol vessels, the first of their type to be built in South Africa. Another of the same class is already in operation with the Cape Verdean Coast Guard. 

“This continues our policy of building in Africa for Africa,” said Friso Visser, Sales Manager Africa for Damen, “and its makes us very proud to see our South African facility maintaining the Damen tradition of building technically advanced vessels to the highest standards. The versatile FCS 5009 Patrol boats have consistently shown themselves to be an ideal solution for patrolling an EEZ. They have low operational costs, are very fuel efficient, have a competitive purchase price and, crucially, are easy to maintain. Overall, they provide a reasonable Total Cost of Ownership, making them attractive to countries that have a requirement to patrol an EEZ.” 

DSCT has prepared the vessels for outfitting with Sea Rogue weaponry; a system that includes a 20mm cannon forward of the wheelhouse and two 12.7mm Browning guns fitted respectively port and starboard of the wheelhouse. The Sea Rogue can be operated by a hand controller and has an accurate target-tracking feature. Working with manufacturer Reutech, DSCT can install the weaponry in a matter of days. 

“The FCS 5009 is deliverable in two formats. It can be either a fast crew supply ship or a security patrol vessel,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi, explaining that, though the vessels are complete and ready to go, they still possess flexibility. DSCT is able to carry out the final conversion for either option within a matter of weeks. They are also the first in their class to be outfitted with MTU engines that offer a lighter weight-to-power ratio for increased speed. “What this shows is the flexibility of Damen vessels,” continues Mr Montsi. “Even though we build for stock, the design of the vessels means they are capable of accommodating a range of different features to match specific requirements.”

Proven designs with full customization potential 

Damen builds a wide range of both inshore and offshore patrol vessels and maintains stocks of many of the most popular models, enabling it to supply them to customers on a commercial off-the-shelf basis.  This allows it to deliver vessels that take advantage of proven, standardized designs and technology, while at the same time enabling clients to specify custom features that can be added prior to delivery.

The group’s longstanding reputation for reliability and its ability to offer lifecycle management and support makes Damen the ideal partner for vessel owners and operators. Its size and global presence also enable it to offer its customers the benefits and cost savings that come from its economies of scale and the synergies generated between the companies that make up the group.

Enhanced capabilities

DSCT is also continuing to invest in its facilities. The latest addition is Shed 9; its largest production hall yet that will allow it to work on vessels of all types up to 90 meters in length with full protection from the weather, dust and other adverse environmental factors. 

The completion of the FCS 5009 Patrol boats and the opening of Shed 9 with its additional capabilities mark the start of a new phase for Damen Shipyards Cape Town and demonstrate the strength that comes with being a member of one of the world’s leading shipbuilding groups.

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