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Damen wins contract to build new Portuguese Navy's multi purpose vessel project.

| 2023

According to information published by Damen on November 24, 2023, the Portuguese Navy has recently entered into an agreement with Damen Shipyards Group for the development of a cutting-edge Multi-Purpose Vessel.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the future Multi-Purpose Vessel or Multifunctional Naval Platform. (Picture source: Damen)

This initiative, involving the design, construction, and outfitting of the vessel, comes following a competitive European tender process. It is notably funded by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, part of the NextGenerationEU program designed to aid EU member states in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rear Admiral Jorge Pires, Director of Ships for the Portuguese Navy, and Jan Wim Dekker, Chief Commercial Officer at Damen Shipyards Group, officially signed the contract.

The 107-meter long vessel, tailored to the specific needs of the Portuguese Navy, is a versatile platform intended for a range of missions including oceanic research, search and rescue operations, emergency relief, as well as maritime safety and naval support tasks. Unique features of the vessel include capabilities to deploy unmanned drones and helicopters.

The vessel’s design focuses on multifunctionality. For oceanographic research and monitoring, it will be outfitted with dedicated laboratories and accommodations for scientific personnel.

In terms of naval support, the vessel will include a stern ramp for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), alongside a substantial flight deck and hangars for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). It will be classified by the Portuguese Navy as a Multifunctional Naval Platform (PNM).

Damen Shipyards Group has worked closely with the Portuguese Navy to ensure the design's future versatility, incorporating a 650m2 cargo deck and capacity for twelve 20-foot containers. This allows for modular systems such as containerized hospital units, hyperbaric chambers, or remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipment to be integrated as needed.

CEO of Damen Shipyards Group, Arnout Damen, also emphasized the importance of this project in strengthening Damen’s relationship with the Portuguese Navy and promoting European defense industry collaboration.

The Portuguese Navy currently operates two Damen-modernized vessels, the Bartolomeu Dias class multi-purpose frigates NRP Bartolomeu Dias and NRP D. Francisco de Almeida, both of which previously served in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

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