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On 6 February, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, christened four Damen INTERCEPTOR 1102 high speed vessels delivered to the National Air & Naval Service (Servicio Aeronaval – SENAN). At the same time, SENAN orered a further four vessels – both contracts in cluding comprehensive training and maintenance services.

SENAN will operate the four new vessels from its Fort Sherman Naval Base at the eastern end of the Panama Canal. The vessels’ primary function will be to combat illegal drug-trafficking activities in the surrounding area. To this end, the 11m INTERCEPTOR 1102 is an extremely suitable choice of boat; low weight construction from fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials, combined with twin Volvo D6 engines deliver outstanding results. “This is an ultra-fast vessel,” highlights Pieter Becker, Damen’s Sales Manager America. “It can reach speeds of more than 55 knots.” Contributing to such high speeds is the vessel design: the single chine hull reduces the amount of impact in heavier seas and improves high speed manoeuvrability.

Construction of all the Interceptor 1102 vessels is being handled by Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey. “We handed the first four vessels over to SENAN just 12 weeks after the contract became effective,” Becker commented, highlighting the benefits of Damen’s stock building strategy that can be seen in such short delivery times. “And now the after-sales phase begins – we will be providing SENAN with a broad service package comprising training, spare parts and our maintenance management system.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela (left) and Damen Sales Manager Americas Pieter Becker at the christening ceremony for the first four INTERCEPTORs on 6 February. (Photo: Damen Shipyards Group)

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