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The Portuguese navy has concluded a contract with Damen Shipyards Group for the design, construction, and equipment of a state-of-the-art multifunctional vessel.

The "drone aircraft carrier” will be produced at the shipyard in Galați, Romania, reported.The vessel will be equipped with laboratories and accommodation spaces, a flight deck of 94x11 meters and hangars for UAVs, a cargo deck of 650 square meters, and space for 12 containers, according to the company press release.The Dutch defense, shipbuilding, and engineering conglomerate can technically only build this type of ship at the Galați shipyard."

Damen has developed this 107-meter-long multifunctional ship based on the specific requirements of the Portuguese navy. The resulting design is truly that of a multifunctional platform, with primary mission roles that include oceanographic research, search, and rescue, as well as emergency aid, in addition to maritime security operations and naval support. To this end, the ship will be equipped with a system to launch unmanned drones and helicopters," according to the company's press release. The ship will be equipped with laboratories and accommodation spaces for scientific personnel for oceanographic research and monitoring activities.

Regarding naval support, the vessel built by Damen will have numerous design features to enable such operations. These will include a ramp for UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) and USVs (unmanned surface vehicles), as well as a flight deck of 94x11 meters and hangars for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)."The new ship will be certified by the Portuguese navy as a Multifunctional Naval Platform (PNM). To fully match this name of the ship, Damen has worked closely with the Portuguese navy to incorporate versatility in the design. This consists of a cargo deck of 650 square meters and space for approximately 12 containers. Therefore, modular systems can be installed, such as a medical unit, hyperbaric chambers, or ROV (Remote Operated Vehicles) equipment, depending on the needs," the company further said.

The Portuguese navy currently has two service vessels built by Damen. These are the multifunctional frigates NRP Bartolomeu Dias and NRP D. Francisco de Almeida, from the Bartolomeu Dias class, with a length of 122 meters.The project follows a European tender process and is funded by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) which is part of NextGenerationEU (the economic recovery package to support EU member states affected by the COVID-19 pandemic).

Source : Romania- Insider/Maasmond Maritime