The South African Navy named the second of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) in Durban harbour on 27 October 2023.
During the ceremony, the vessel was officially named SAS King Shaka Zulu. Named for the great Zulu King the vessel was built entirely in South Africa at Damen Shipyards Cape Town and it was designed to deliver rapid response capabilities along South Africa’s extensive 2,798-kilometre coastline and it is poised to play a pivotal role in safeguarding national waters.
The use of King Shaka’s name is significant as it stands as a symbol of strength, which will now live forever at sea, paying tribute to Zulu nation’s significant role in South Africa’s history.
The vessel’s Sea Axe hull design, patented by Damen, ensures exceptional seakeeping behaviour, reduced fuel consumption, and enhanced safety and comfort onboard. These vessels, equipped with advanced military equipment bolster the navy’s ability to respond effectively and swiftly to threats such as piracy, illegal fishing, and smuggling operations.
The MMIPV project has not only fortified South Africa’s maritime security but also contributed significantly to job creation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A total of 848 local vendors have actively participated in the construction of the MMIPVs, highlighting the effectiveness of South Africa’s industrial participation policy.
Throughout the project’s duration, it is estimated to have generated more than one million man-hours of work, supported over 1,000 direct jobs at Damen Shipyards Cape Town, and engaged nearly 4,000 individuals indirectly. The project has also fortified regional supply chains and created opportunities for skilled job seekers, promoting economic prosperity in South Africa’s Ocean Economy.