South African defense procurement agency ARMSCOR has finalized negotiations with South African Shipyards (SAS) for the construction of a hydrographic survey vessel as part of the navy’s Project Hotel.
The agreement was finalized in February 2018, a year after SAS was selected as the preferred bidder for the project.
The new vessel will replace the South African Navy’s SAS Protea which has been in service since 1972.
The design of the new vessel is based on Vard Marine’s VARD 9 105 science vessel concept that has been adapted to South Africa’s requirements and designed to incorporate the latest hydrographic and oceanographic sensor suite.
Vard Marine anounced in February 2018 that it was contracted to complete the basic design and support SAS through detailed design and construction of the VARD 9 105 science vessel.
According to Vard, the PC7 ice strengthened vessel will measure 95 meters in length and have approximately 7800kW propulsion power, a shafted controllable pitch propeller, and a maximum speed of 18 knots. The vessel has a 10,000nm range with 44 days endurance; and will be manned by a crew of 120 comprising ships’ crew and scientists.
The VARD 9 105 is an evolution from the Vard Marine-designed hydrographic survey vessels HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise delivered to the Royal Navy in 2002.