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Portugal set to issue tender for unmanned systems mother ship

The Portuguese Navy is looking to commission the Multifunctional Naval Platform in 2026. (Victor Barreira)

The Portuguese Navy is poised to issue a tender to acquire a helicopter and unmanned systems mother ship for a maximum of EUR132 million (USD142 million) to meet its Pilar I project.

A tender by prior qualification for the design and construction of the Plataforma Naval Multifuncional (Multifunctional Naval Platform) is scheduled to be published in mid-June in the Portuguese Official Gazette and in the Official Journal of the European Union , Captain Jorge Manuel Mestre Domingos, project manager at the Portuguese Navy Ships Directorate, told Janes .

The acquisition of this non-combatant multi-purpose modular ship will be funded by the European Union's (EU's) Recovery and Resilience Plan (also known as NextGenerationEU), he added.

The commissioning of the ship is scheduled to take place in 2026.

The ship is designed to be configured according to the mission set, and will principally undertake offshore surveillance, research and survey, aviation, disaster relief, and humanitarian aid missions.

The Portuguese Navy is looking for a ship with an overall length of 100 m, a 20 m beam and 5.5 m draft, with a top speed of 20 kt , a displacement of approximately 6,000 tonnes, an endurance of 45 days, and a crew of about 60, with additional space for 50 scientists.

The ship's flight deck with ski jump will enable the operation of a single light- to medium-sized helicopter, and short take-off and landing (STOL) and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In addition, space will be included to enable the operation of a catapult for the launch of fixed-wing UAVs.

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