On June 17, 2022, the keel of the first Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessel (MMPV) for Bulgarian Navy was laid at MTG Dolphin in Varna. The first keel block, weighting 47 tons, was laid over «lucky coins» in a traditional shipbuilding ceremony.
Commander of the Navy Rear admiral Kiril Mihaylov announced the name of the new vessel, which will be «Hrabri», meaning «Brave» in Bulgarian – proud inheritor of Navy’s torpedo boat of the same name from the beginning of 20th century.
The important milestone was attended by the President of Bulgaria Mr. Rumen Radev, Minister of Defense Mr. Dragomir Zakov, Chief of Defense Admiral Emil Eftimov, Commander of the Navy Rear admiral Kiril Mihaylov and other officials.
The vessels, based on the proven NVL design, are being built in Bulgaria by MTG Dolphin, acting as subcontractor to prime contractor of the project – NVL Group. When completed, they will be 90 meters/295 feet long, with a displacement of 2300 tons, and will feature a wide variety of naval capabilities, supported by integrated Combat Management System (CMS).
Germany’s NVL Group, formerly Lürssen Defence, and its local shipyard partner MTG Dolphin, on December 03, 2021 joined representatives of the contracting authority to launch construction of the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMPV) for the Bulgarian Navy in Varna, Bulgaria. The highlight of the traditional steel cutting ceremony was the power-up of the plasma cutting system for the first steel cut. Both vessels are being built at MTG Dolphin in Varna under the management of NVL Group and with the involvement of numerous Bulgarian suppliers.
«We are very happy to attend the ceremony of launching construction of the first of two Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMPV). These ships will enable the Bulgarian Navy to fulfil all tasks for defending national maritime interests and will give us the opportunity to fully participate in NATO and EU operations and missions», Commander of the Bulgarian Navy, rear admiral Mihaylov was happy to report.
«With the start of steel cutting, we are entering the production phase as planned. The milestone reached today is also an expression of the trusting relationship with our customer and the constructive cooperation with our partner MTG Dolphin. To successfully launch ships of such complexity, efficient, trusting and cooperative partnerships are essential. This applies to the cooperation with the shipyard as much as to that with our numerous local and international suppliers», explained Dirk Malgowski, Managing Director of NVL B.V. & Co. KG. «We will now move full steam ahead into the manufacturing process and I am confident that we will seamlessly carry on with the commitment that all parties to this project have brought to the table in the past».
The vessels, which are around 90 meters/295 feet long, with around 2,300 tons of displacement, are based on a proven design from the NVL portfolio, and feature an integrated Combat Management System. The units are predestined for tasks within the framework of international alliance missions of NATO and the EU and enable the Bulgarian Navy to counter air- and land-based threats as well as surface and undersea threats.
The MMPV project, with a total volume of around 420 million euros, is currently the largest newbuild project of the Bulgarian Navy. Delivery of the first vessel is scheduled for the third quarter of 2025, and the second vessel a year later.
«Our both companies have known each other for many years and are family-run, which greatly facilitates mutual understanding and our team work. The strengths of the companies – shipbuilding capabilities and competitive cost structures on the Bulgarian side as well as system and integration expertise and wide experience as prime contractor on the German side – will facilitate the successful project completion», said Svetlin Stoyanov, CEO of MTG Dolphin.
Meanwhile, the project is also having a positive impact on local value creation and employment. To date, 40 local employees have already been recruited through NTB (Naval Technology Bulgaria), a company newly established by NVL Group. In addition, numerous local suppliers, for example for interior fittings, insulation or air-conditioning, are gradually being integrated into the project, thus indirectly creating new jobs.