On 12 July, the green light was given to launch the first Multi-Mission Frigate under construction for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The 105 metre long ship has been constructed entirely on land at the DSNS yard at Vlissingen East and is now ready, on schedule, to be completed at the Vlissingen-City shipyard.
Heavy Lifting and Transport company Mammoet, then moved the 2000 ton vessel initially from the hall towards the water. It was then placed on a pontoon and taken to deeper water where the pontoon was allowed to sink so that the frigate could be allowed to float unaided. The frigate was then towed by tug boats to Vlissingen-City where it will be completed over the coming year. This “direct launch” method is unique to this whole operation.
DSNS has made various investments over the course of the past two years in order to facilitate this unique construction method at the shipyard in Vlissingen-East. The site has undergone a complete metamorphosis whereby the existing production hall was extended by 120 m and a Ro-Ro ‘path’ was created, upon which the ships ‘drive’ from the hall to the pontoon.
The second and third frigates for the Royal Moroccan Navy, both 98 metres long, are planned to be launched to water in exactly the same manner next year.