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Colombian Navy awards contract to COTECMAR for first PES frigate, ocean patrol vessel, and logistic support ship

A computer rendering, released by Damen, of a notional SIGMA 10514 design matched to the Colombian Navy's PES requirement. The final configuration will be determined during the contractual design phase. (Damen)

The Colombian Navy (Armada de la República de Colombia: ARC) awarded a contract to COTECMAR to build the service's first frigate under the Strategic Surface Platform (Plataforma estratégica de superficie: PES) project on 22 November. The contract includes the construction of an ocean patrol vessel (Patrullera Oceánica Colombiana: POC) offshore patrol vessel (OPV) 93 and a logistic support vessel (LSV) (Buque de Apoyo logístico: BAL).

Vice Admiral Francisco Hernando Cubides Granados, commander of the ARC, said the new vessels will help to protect the country's maritime interests on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The government announced a total of USD440 million for the construction, integration, testing, commissioning, and operation of afloat naval units, and also for improving their protection capabilities.

The project is expected to be completed in 10 years, and will be fulfilled under different phases.

The replacement of the existing Almirante Padilla-class frigates is scheduled under the PES project. The initial plan was to build eight new frigates by 2037 but was later reduced to five due to financial constraints.

In September, the Colombian Ministry of National Defense announced that Damen's SIGMA 10514 would be the preferred model for the PES project, and would be built by COTECMAR under a technology partnership with Damen.

On 27 September, both firms signed a contract for co-development of the contractual design for the new frigate, with Colombia-specific features. It is estimated that the ship's design will be finalised by mid-2023, and the construction can begin by 2025. The SIGMA 10514 model has a length of 105

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