German shipbuilder Naval Vessels Lürssen Group has laid the keel on a second multipurpose modular patrol vessel for the Bulgarian Navy.
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The keel-laying ceremony was attended by newly appointed Bulgarian Minister of Defence Todor Tagarev, officials from local partner MTG Dolphin, and guests from the Navy and local business in Varna, Bulgaria.
Representatives affixed a brass plate with four coins onto a wooden block, each coin symbolising one of the parties involved in the project, during the ceremony.
NVL BV & Co KG managing director Dirk Malgowski said the multipurpose modular patrol vessels (MMPVs) are capable of countering land, air, surface and undersea-based threats, as well as being predestined for tasks within NATO and EU international alliance missions.
“Despite COVID and all effects it has had on the supply chain, we are working to plan with another milestone achieved in time. Moreover, the excellent teamwork of all involved is key to ensure we meet these milestones,” he said.
“The keel-laying of the second MMPV vessel marks an important juncture for the program. From now on, we will be working visibly on two ships in parallel.
“This lifts the challenge for all involved in the design and construction and everyone is excited about the steady increase of activities on the shipyard and in the offices.”
NVL Group and MTG Dolphin began production of the two modular multipurpose patrol vessel last year with the first vessel scheduled for delivery in late 2025 and the second to follow in 2026.
Each 90-metre vessel features an integrated Combat Management System for use with 76mm main cannon, torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, eight vertical launch anti-aircraft missiles and other support weaponry.
NVL Group has previously offered to build the Royal Australian Navy corvettes based on the C90 design and start production in Australia to meet RAN demand for a Tier 2 capability to defend and win at sea.
“Today’s event is confirming once again our commitment to the project and valuable cooperation amongst all stakeholders,” MTG Dolphin chief executive officer Svetlin Stoyanov said.
“Despite numerous challenges, our joint effort brings the results, which are visible with the first ship close to launching and the second already in progress.
“Partnership between NVL, MTG, NTB, and Bulgarian Navy will continue to be vital for timely and within budget delivery of the project.”