skip to main content

DIMDEX 2024: Portugal orders Damen's new ‘drone carrier'

A computer-generated image of Damen's MPSS 7000 design, with the larger MPSS 9000 behind. (Damen)

The Portuguese Navy has signed a contract covering the design, construction, and outfitting of one of Damen's new Multi-Purpose Support Ships (MPSSs), the Dutch shipyard group announced during the DIMDEX 2024 show held in Doha from 4 to 6 March.

It said in a press release that it has specifically developed the 107 m MPSS for the Portuguese Navy's requirement for a “truly multi-purpose vessel” designed for oceanic research, search-and-rescue, emergency relief, and naval support operations.

Most notably, it is specifically designed to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as a helicopter from a 91×11 m flight deck, with two lifts to the UAV hangar deck located at the front of its superstructure and the helicopter hangar at the rear.

It will also be able to launch and recover manned, unmanned, and underwater vessels using davits on its stern and on both sides. The company's larger MPSS 9000 design has a well dock that can accommodate a landing craft.

The Portuguese Navy's MPSS will have a 650 m2 cargo deck that can accommodate 12 20 ft containers or modular capabilities such as hospital facilities, a hyperbaric chamber, or unmanned vehicle equipment.

“We are convinced that this vessel will represent a major milestone in the naval sector,” said Damen CEO Arnout Damen. “It is the first of its kind, with the highest capabilities to create situational awareness, [and] deploy and manage all types of drones.”

The Portuguese ship is being funded by the European Union's Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is part of a programme to help the economies of member states affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...