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Steel cut for second Bulgarian multi-purpose patrol vessel

NVL Group and its local partner MTG Dolphin started production of the second of two multipurpose modular patrol vessels for the Bulgarian Navy in Varna on 14 December. (NVL)

The Bulgarian Navy's multipurpose modular patrol vessel (MMPV) programme has marked another milestone with the start of production of the second ship.

German shipbuilder NVL Group (formerly Lürssen Werft) staged a steel-cutting ceremony for Smeli (11), the second of two MMPVs on order, at the yard of its local shipbuilding partner MTG Dolphin in Varna, Bulgaria on 14 December.

The two MMPVs are being built by MTG Dolphin under a contract worth valued at BGN820 million (USD446.4 million) awarded to NVL Group in 2020.

First-of-class Hrabri (12) was laid down in June and under current planning is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025, followed by Smeli in 2026.

The steel monohull vessels are derived from NVL Group's OPV 90 design. They have a displacement of around 2,300 tonnes fully loaded, with an overall length of 90 m, a beam of 13.5 m, and a 3.5 m draught. They are powered by two diesel engines driving two shafts to convey a top speed of 24 kt.

Armament includes four Saab RBS15 Mk 3 anti-ship missiles, eight surface-to-air missiles (fired from an eight-cell vertical launch system), lightweight torpedoes (fired from six 324 mm tubes), one 76 mm gun, and one 35 mm close-in weapon station. Under a contract awarded in December 2020, Saab is supplying the vessels with its 9LV Mk 4 combat management system (CMS). Other equipment will include a 3D radar, a Link 11 datalink, a hull-mounted sonar, and a basic electronic warfare system.

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