Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) has completed the build of two FCS 5009 Patrol vessels, the first of their type to be built in South Africa. Another of the same class is already in operation with the Cape Verdean Coast Guard.
“This continues our policy of building in Africa for Africa,” said Friso Visser, Sales Manager Africa for Damen, “and its makes us very proud to see our South African facility maintaining the Damen tradition of building technically advanced vessels to the highest standards. The versatile FCS 5009 Patrol boats have consistently shown themselves to be an ideal solution for patrolling an EEZ. They have low operational costs, are very fuel efficient, have a competitive purchase price and, crucially, are easy to maintain. Overall, they provide a reasonable Total Cost of Ownership, making them attractive to countries that have a requirement to patrol an EEZ.”
DSCT has prepared the vessels for outfitting with Sea Rogue weaponry; a system that includes a 20mm cannon forward of the wheelhouse and two 12.7mm Browning guns fitted respectively port and starboard of the wheelhouse. The Sea Rogue can be operated by a hand controller and has an accurate target-tracking feature. Working with manufacturer Reutech, DSCT can install the weaponry in a matter of days.
“The FCS 5009 is deliverable in two formats. It can be either a fast crew supply ship or a security patrol vessel,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi, explaining that, though the vessels are complete and ready to go, they still possess flexibility. DSCT is able to carry out the final conversion for either option within a matter of weeks. They are also the first in their class to be outfitted with MTU engines that offer a lighter weight-to-power ratio for increased speed. “What this shows is the flexibility of Damen vessels,” continues Mr Montsi. “Even though we build for stock, the design of the vessels means they are capable of accommodating a range of different features to match specific requirements.”
The completion of the FCS 5009 Patrol boats and the opening of Shed 9 with its additional capabilities mark the start of a new phase for Damen Shipyards Cape Town and demonstrate the strength that comes with being a member of one of the world’s leading shipbuilding groups.