Damen to build five frigates for the Colombian Navy

According to information published by Infodefensa on September 27, 2022, the Colombian Ministry of Defense has announced that Damen will be the technological partner in the design and construction process, in collaboration with the local shipyard Cotecmar, of the five frigates of the Colombian Navy's Strategic Surface Platforms (PES) program.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering about the future Colombian frigate part of the PES program. (Picture source: Colombian Navy)

The choice of the contractor for this long extended project comes months after the visit, last February, of the now former President Iván Duque to Damen's facilities in the Netherlands. This visit already suggested that the Dutch company would win the contract.

Colombia reaffirms with this decision its confidence in Damen and its vessels, since the Caribbean country also selected, in 2019, the OSRV 8316 model as the basis for its Colombian Oceanographic Vessel.

This way, the proposals of other companies that were interested in the Colombian naval program, among them, the French Naval Group, the Spanish Navantia, the Korean Daewoo and the Turkish STM, are ruled out.

The official signing of the contract will take place next week in Bogota. Cotecmar wants to be involved in the final design of the frigates for two reasons: to ensure that they meet the Navy's operational needs and to acquire technological capabilities.

The base design for the vessels will be Damen's Sigma 10514. Negotiations will now focus on agreeing on a price per unit not exceeding US$400,000,000. In addition, Colombia wants to increase the tonnage of the starting model to between 2,800 and 2,900 tons.

The intention of the Navy and the Cotecmar shipyard is to have a multi-mission platform, which can operate in any ocean, but particularly in the Atlantic and Pacific coast, and with which it can constitute an effective Oceanic Defensive Force (FDO) based on the Strategic Plan of the Defense and Security Sector (2018-2022) and the Strategic Military and Transformation Plan (PEMT) 2042.

According to ARC requirements, the new vessels would have an integrated mast, with a 76/62 millimeter main gun, with ship-launched sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missiles (SSM-700K HAE SUNG-I), medium-range air defense systems

They will have a reduced crew, ranging from 4,000 to 7,000 nautical miles, with a range of approximately 30 days and speeds of 27 to 30 knots, provided by a twin-engine hybrid propulsion system.