Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards has begun work on the first of two 1,900 tonne multipurpose offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Pakistan Navy.
Pakistan and Damen signed a contract for the construction of two OPVs in June 2017. First OPV is being built at Damen’s Galati shipyard in Romania. The second will be constructed in Pakistan at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) with material support from Damen.
In terms of specifications, the OPVs have a hull-length of 90 m, maximum speed of 22 knots and full-load displacement of 1,900 tons. Based on the specifications, Pakistan’s OPV 1900 is a variant of the Damen OPV 1800. The OPVs have been described by the Pakistan Navy as “state-of-the-art vessels” especially suited for anti-surface, anti-air, and maritime security operations.
The latest Navy Ship has been accepted by Minister of Defence of United Kingdom last month.
According to Daily Mail news, Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, claimed that The Royal Navy ‘stands ready’ to protect Britain’s fisheries after taking delivery of the first of five OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel)
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The Royal Navy has a proud tradition of protecting the UK’s coastline and keeping a close eye on our fishing waters. With these state-of-the-art, vastly capable ships we stand ready to protect our fisheries once Britain leaves the EU.”
Downing Street insisted this week Brexit would still eventually allow Britain to fully control its fishing waters for the first time in 40 years despite the transition deal effectively binding fishermen into EU rules for another two years.
The other tasks of the new class OPV will include counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defence duties. The 90 meter long, 2,000 tonnes OPV includes a modified flight deck capable of operating the latest Merlin helicopters, larger stores and more accommodation for embarked troops. As OPVs, these ocean-going boats have the size, capacity for mission endurance of 35 days, and operate at distance of 5,500 nautical miles from shore. It can develop a maximum speed of 24 knots. The ship’s flight deck supports medium helicopters up to a Merlin size, two RHIB boats and a 16-ton crane are also included. The vessel is armed with a gun turret mounting a 30mm cannon as its main armament.
HMS Forth, one of five new OPVs being delivered for the Royal Navy, will enter service this year. Her sister ships – HMS Medway, HMS Trent, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey – are all expected to enter service by 2020.
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has unveiled the new designs which will be built for the Qatari Navy at DIMDEX 2018.
The contract that has been signed in August 2017 between Qatar Navy and Fincantieri is worth almost 4 billion euros and includes the supply of seven surface ships, four corvettes with lengths of over 100 meters, an amphibious ship, two patrol boats and support services in Qatar for more 15 years after the delivery of the units.
The steel-cutting of the lead ship is planned to commence in June 2018, with delivery scheduled for 2021. The corvettes, along with the OPVs and LPD, will be built in Italy.
The corvettes will be large, with a length of 107 m, a full load displacement of 3,250 tonnes, and crews of 112. Although the design of the superstructure has yet to be finalised, the ships will have enclosed bows as well as hangars and flight decks for the NH90 helicopters Qatar has ordered.
The two OPVs – each with a displacement of 670 tons – will have AShW capabilities through two dual-cell Exocet MM40 Block-III AShM and short-range air defence coverage through the MBDA MICA-VL (via two quad-cell VLS). It appears that the OPVs’ design elements, which emphasize low radar-cross section, make it more of a conventional corvette than a traditional OPV.
The LPD is expected to be a variant of the 9,000-ton LPD Fincantieri had built for the Algerian Navy, the Kalaat Beni-Abbes. The Kalaat Beni-Abbes has a crew of 160 and can carry 400 soldiers, 15 main battle tanks or 30 light-armoured vehicles with three medium-weight utility helicopters on its flight deck. This LPD will provide Qatar with an expeditionary element that it can apply for humanitarian and disaster relief and coalition support missions.