The signing ceremony of the contract for the construction of the Multifunctional Naval Platform that obtained funding under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), took place today, November 24th, at the Galeotas Pavilion, at the Navy Museum.

The signing of the contract was attended by the Prime Minister, António Costa, the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, the Minister of National Defence, Helena Carreiras, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, the CEO of the Dutch shipyards DAMEN, the company that will build the new ship, Arnout Damen, among other entities.

The new Multifunctional Naval platform is named NRP D.João II in honor of the visionary feats of that king in his time. as Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo explained in his speech – “he was a man far ahead of his time, determined and visionary, he made Portugal an unavoidable reference in world history. D. João II decided, without hesitation, to make a break with an expansionist and continental policy in North Africa and to bet courageously on a maritime strategy that initiated globalization”.

In his speech, he also stressed that this is a platform that will require “a new Navy, better prepared for the future that lies ahead due to the technology it incorporates” since “in this new naval unit, carbon sailors, who are human beings, and silicon sailors, who are robots, will coexist”.

The platform, which will extend the functionalities of an ocean surveillance and oceanographic research vessel to other scenarios, namely in emergency scenarios, will be prepared to develop several actions, “it will also have on-board laboratories, medical aid stations and cargo handling capacity. This platform also has a totally revolutionary concept of a model nature, determined by the ability of the platform to quickly adapt according to the typology of tasks to be developed and the geographical location that will have to act” – said the Chief of Staff of the Navy.

For the Navy, this platform is a step towards innovation, but it is also “an open window to the future,” added Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo.

The Prime Minister, in his speech, said that the D. João II ship “is an innovative project” and praised that “it is an opportunity to leverage knowledge and research in the area of the sea and produce resources that can be properly valued through the blue economy”.

The platform is expected to enter service in the second half of 2026.