Damen Reveals Multi-Purpose Support Ship Design

Dutch shipbuilder Damen has introduced a Multi-Purpose Support Ship (MPPS) design to address “modern defense and security requirements.”

Conceptualized in partnership with the Portuguese Navy, the new vessel supports multi-domain drone assets for combat and surveillance missions. It combines tactical and commercial components for navigation, communication, and electronic applications.

Alongside managing aerial, sea, and underwater autonomous systems, the MPPS can be used for amphibious deployments, submarine rescue, rotorcraft transport, humanitarian missions, and diving support.

The company wrote that construction of the MPPS has already commenced. Once completed, it will be offered in 7,000 and 9,000-ton variants.

In the field, the ship can carry up to 48 personnel, reach a speed of more than 15 knots (28 kilometers/17 miles per hour), and operate on 45-day missions.

Artist's rendering of the Multi-Purpose Support Ship in 7,000 and 9,000-ton variants. Photo: Damen Shipyards
Artist’s rendering of the Multi-Purpose Support Ship in 7,000 and 9,000-ton variants. Photo: Damen Shipyards

“The MPSS range is a response to the increasing use of drone technology that we see in modern combat and surveillance situations,” Damen Defence and Security Commercial Manager Piet van Rooij stated.

“We could see that such capabilities would be of growing importance for countries looking to sustain their sovereignty. At the same time, this is a multi-purpose vessel that can be applied to a wide range of additional operations, thereby offering value for taxpayer’s money.”

“This theme is further developed using commercial off the shelf technology, which ensures the cost-effective construction of a reliable platform. We’re very much looking forward to showcasing this new vessel, including at exhibitions, in the coming months.”

Collaboration With Portugal

The MPPS design launch followed Damen and Portugal’s decision to co-develop a “world’s first” surface vehicle with oceanic research and drone deployment capabilities in 2023.

The project was funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, a framework to supply economic recovery packages for member states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are convinced that this vessel will represent a major milestone in the naval sector,” Damen Shipyards Group CEO Arnout Damen said while signing the partnership contract.

“This vessel’s multi-purpose functionality will enable the Portuguese Navy to develop the most demanding missions and at the same time the ability to perform research activities in the deepest areas of the ocean.”

“It also underlines Damen’s firm relationship with the Portuguese Navy and shows a further example of European defence industry cooperation.”

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