According to the Spanish daily El Pais, Morocco is about to sign a contract for the acquisition of two deep-sea patrol vessels OPV Avante de Navantia.
According to the statement, the contract represents one million hours of work for the shipyard and 250 jobs over the next three and a half years. The same shipyards will also build the BAM IS (Underwater Intervention Maritime Action Vessel) submarine rescue vessel.
Morocco communicated in April the specifications of the contract for the construction of the patrol boat, for which shipyards from several countries were interested. Navantia presented its offer in August and a team from the company went to Morocco to negotiate the technical and commercial aspects. Since last September, the contacts between Navantia and the Moroccan National Defense Administration have been permanent in order to adapt all the technical specifications of the ship to the requirements of its Navy and to fulfill the roadmap agreed in the negotiation.
Navantia has already supplied patrol boats and a corvette to the Royal Moroccan Navy in the eighties.
Navantia statement added that it is also studying different commercial options for its shipyard in Cartagena, where the S80 submarine is currently being built, and Ferrol, where the F110 frigates for the Spanish Navy will be built. This last program is part of the company’s Strategic Plan, which aims to consolidate this shipyard as a world reference in the design and construction of state-of-the-art frigates and as a catalyst for Shipyard 4.0, which is vital to ensure the sustainability of Navantia in the medium and long term.
Avante 1400 / BVL design
According to Spanish defense media Infodefensa, the OPV design for the RMN will be based on the Buque de Vigilancia de Litoral (BVL) also known as Avante 1400. Four BVL were ordered (along with four POVZEE / Avante 2200 Combatants) by the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela back in 2005. Three Guaicamacuto-class vessels were delivered however (and incidentally, one of them sunk in March last year, after ramming a cruise ship).
Avante 1400 OPVs are describe by Navantia as “littoral patrol vessels with offshore capabilities.” They have a length of 80 meters, a full load displacement of 1,500 tons, a range of 4,000 nautical miles and a crew complement of 35 sailors.
The amount of the contract would be around 260 million euros. According to El Pais the contract would concern the 1400 version of 1500 tons of displacement similar to the one built for Venezuela.
Navantia’s 80-meter-long ship has a helicopter platform and a 76mm Oto melara cannon.
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