South Africa announces preferred bidders for new navy vessels

Armscor, the acquisition agency for the South African Department of Defence, announced the preferred bidders for the construction of South African Navy’s project “Biro” and “Hotel” vessels.

In 2014, Armscor solicited offers on a multi-source tender basis from prospective shipyards for the supply of three offshore patrol vessels and three inshore patrol vessels that would be built under the Biro project.

Project Hotel will deliver a new hydrographic survey vessel to be operated by the South African Navy.

On February 15, Armscor announced Damen Shipyards Cape Town as the preferred bidder for the construction of offshore and inshore patrol boats while South African Shipyards (SAS) was announced as the preferred bidder for the hydrographic survey vessel.

SAS was also competing for the construction of OPVs together with German shipbuilder Lurssen.


Project Hotel hydrographic survey vessel

South African Shipyards secured the project Hotel bid with Vard Marine’s 9 105 hydrographic/ oceanographic survey vessel design.

According to Vard Marine, the vessel will be a PC7 ice strengthened vessel. Measuring 95 meters in length with an installed diesel electric power plant of approximately 12.24MW, the vessel will have a maximum speed of 18 knots and a 10,000nm range with 44 days endurance.

Vard says final contract signing is expected in the next few months with construction scheduled to begin in 2018.


Project Biro 

Damen won the Biro project bid with its 1800 Sea Axe design for the offshore patrol vessels and the FCS 5009 design for the inshore patrol vessels.

1800 Sea Axe measures 85 meters in length and reaches a maximum speed of 26 knots. Damen says that due to the Axe-Bow hull’s design, the vessel has a low water resistance and is fuel efficient.

One of Armcor’s main requirements for both projects was that local content in the construction process exceeds 60 percent.