• Dr. Albuquerque Moniz - Distinguished Minister Counsellor of the Portuguese Embassy in Berlin, representing the Ambassador Costa Pereira
• Mr. Alves de Carvalho - Distinguished Consul General in Hamburg
• Rear Admiral Heinrich Lange, Distinguished Vice-Chief of Staff of German Navy
• Dr. Hans-Christoph Atzpodien, Distinguished Chairman of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
• Mr Andreas Burmester - Distinguished Chairman of the Executive Board of HDW
• Colonel José Gaspar, Portuguese Defense Attaché in Germany
• Commander Baptista Pereira, Commanding Officer of the NRP Arpão
• Distinguished Guests, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all that kindly are attending this ceremony at the HDW Shipyard. I am delighted to be here with you today as we commission a new submarine, the second of its class - NRP Arpão.
Ich bin sehr glücklich und estóltz, heute hier in Deutschland zu sein, und bêsondas in Kiel, Stadt der grössten traditzionen der deutschen KriegsMarine.
This submarine marks another milestone for the Portuguese Navy and underscores national efforts to maintain the submarine capacity in our Fleet.
With this ship, provided with modern and advanced technology, the fleet will be closer to our level of ambition, which is to provide our Navy with a balanced and capable platform matching our current Defense Review.
My country has extensive interests at sea, to be safeguarded, which are crucial for its development and, ultimately, for the success and prosperity of our people and future generations to come. By exploiting the underwater dimension we are decisively incrementing our capacity to expand the maritime domain awareness, keeping our waters safe and facing a wide array of threats. Early this year her sister ship – Tridente, was commissioned. Together, they will extend our Navy missions spectrum, as they are capable to operate for long periods in any areas of strategic interest to Portugal, including cooperation in national constabulary missions, as well as with our allies in NATO and European Union, increasing our capacity to be net contributors to a more peaceful world, making the right investments to promote security and prosperity.
The Navy will be stronger in the near future and better prepared to face the naval challenges of the 21st century.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Almost a century ago, the first Portuguese submarine arrived in Lisbon, introducing in Portugal the three dimensional naval warfare spectrum. In all these decades we have increase the skills of our capability to efficiently control and operate submarines. Therefore, the type 209PN programme was a careful sustained process to ensure that the new submarine class has the right capabilities to fit operational needs and concepts envisaged for the next 30 years. The new submarines represent a major step in technology, combining new concepts with innovating features and state-of-the-art systems, perfectly adapted to our requirements.
I would like to emphasise her silence profile and capability to be submerged for very long periods, embracing them among the most powerful non-nuclear submarines at the present time.
The Portuguese Navy has the honour to be one of the first operating such innovating systems, representing a huge challenge for our crews and maintenance teams. I am sure that our long tradition operating underwater will be a solid foundation for the future operation of those new submarines.
What we see before our eyes is the result of hard work. Though we still have a long way to go, this progress would not be possible without the German Submarine Consortium experience and the Portuguese technical team efforts, as well as the excellent co-operation between the Portuguese MOD, Portuguese Navy, programme members and GSC. I congratulate all involved in bringing us to this point and I urge you to keep this outstanding cooperation in order to have this submarine sailing to Lisbon soon. To the German Navy, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the support we received, that has been instrumental in the progress we are witnessing.
My last words are to the first crew of “Arpão”. Allow me to say a few words in my mother language.
Guarnição do NRP Arpão
Concretizamos hoje, com a recepção provisória do submarino Arpão, uma importante etapa na modernização da Marinha, ultrapassando muitos obstáculos, mas conscientes da sua importância para Portugal.
Grandes responsabilidades caem agora sobre nós. Com a vossa dedicação, profissionalismo e profundo espírito de missão, estou confiante no futuro.
Não tenho dúvidas de que o NRP Arpão, arvorando a bandeira de Portugal e a insígnia da Marinha, irá cumprir a sua missão com o sucesso de quem acredita na nobre missão de servir Portugal no mar.
Commander Baptista Pereira:
Today we are taking a new step with the Type 209PN submarines. I am confident that you and your crew will honour our traditions and serve the navy and Portugal with utmost loyalty and dedication. I wish you and your crew all the best. May God bless this ship and the Sailors who will serve in her.
Ich bedanke mich, für die Zusammenarbeit und zolidaritet aller deutschen froinden, die uns bei diesem komplexen bauprôgráme der tzwei U-booten begleitet haben.
Many thanks to all that make this possible.
José Saldanha Lopes