Damen Shipyards has officially started the construction of a second batch of two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Pakistani Navy. The commencement was marked by a keel-laying and steel-cutting ceremony for the first and second OPVs, respectively.
The ceremony was attended by senior officials from the Pakistani Navy, the Romanian Navy and local administration of the city of Galatí as well as directors from Damen Shipyards. The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi performed the initial welding work on the keel of the first vessel at Damen Shipyards Galatí on October 12, 2022. This was followed by the first steel cut for the second OPV.
Damen believes the vessels will provide the Pakistan Navy with a highly effective search and rescue capability, and will allow it to play an important role in safeguarding international trade routes from piracy and other threats. The ships are equipped for extended range and performance and benefit from advanced communication systems.
This order for two more OPV vessels from Damen was issued by the Pakistan Navy following their positive experiences with two OPVs from the Shipyard Group they already operate. The initial order for construction of two OPVs was awarded to Damen by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense Production following the completion of a transparent bidding process in which Damen’s design and construction proposal was found to be the most suited for Pakistan’s maritime needs. In February and November 2020, two OPV 2300s were delivered. Performance and capabilities of these vessels, known in the Pakistan Navy as the Yarmook class, led to the second order. The two bigger OPVs are planned for delivery in February and August 2024.
The Admiral underscored the importance of OPVs in the maritime domain in his speech at the ceremony, saying that these ships will act as force multipliers in enhancing the navy’s capability of safeguarding maritime frontiers and will offer more flexibility for the Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) in the Indian Ocean. The Admiral appreciated the professional competence of Damen design and construction teams.