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Over two years after original tenders were issued, Armscor has down-selected Damen Shipyards Cape Town and South African Shipyards (SAS) in Durban as preferred bidders for contracts to build a total of seven new vessels for the South African Navy.

Damen is the preferred bidder for three Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) and three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) under Project Biro. Their construction will significantly enhance the navy’s patrolling capability in combating illegal fishing and looting of maritime resources, operations currently conducted by modernised strikecraft and VALOUR-class frigates.

SAS has been selected as the preferred bidder for a new hydrographic survey vessel to replace the HECLA-class SAS PROTEA, now almost 45 years old.
Both bidders will have to meet the stringent requirements of operation Phakisa, which stipulates that at least 60% of new additions to naval strength need to be locally sourced.

The 45 year-old SAS PROTEA hydrographic survey vessel will be replaced by a new purpose-built vessel, for which Armscor has selected South African Shipyards in Durban as the preferred bidder. (Photo: South African Navy)

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