The Netherlands: Imtech Marine Signs Multi-Year Submarine Modernization Contract
On 13 May Imtech Marine signed a contract to be involved in the execution of the capability upkeep program Walrus-class submarines (IP-W) of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation granted Imtech Marine Netherlands the assignment to carry out the mechanical, engineering and electrical upgrade works on board the submarines.
The assignment will be carried out at the Naval base in Den Helder and will run from 2013 until 2020. IP-W includes a large number of modifications, such as disassembly, assembly and installation of a variety of equipment and systems. This will ensure that the submarines will remain effectively operational in service until at least 2025. The complex project is based on the intensive cooperation between the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Dutch industry and research institutes, with an important role for Imtech Marine.
Apart from extensive conservation work the program also contains replacement of the sonar installation, replacement of the periscope system by an optronic mast, replacement of the Combat Management System and Internal Communication system, modification of a number of platform systems and the complete redesign of the central radio cabin and electronic cabin. Imtech Marine also plays a role in the installation of the SATCOM systems and the delivery of new consoles for the redesigned combat information centre.
‘It is a great challenge to get this job done within the planned time in the confined space of a submarine with a large team of mechanics, welders, specialists, site managers and quality and safety experts’’, says Harm Kappen, at Imtech Marine responsible for Marketing & Sales in the navy domain. Imtech Marine has been actively involved with the Netherlands Walrus class submarines since the eighties. “Our knowledge and expertise in the naval domain, and in the area of submarines in particular, will be of great value for this assignment”, says Kappen. “As electric system integrator we realize smart and efficient solutions within the available space. During the preparation, design issues such as use of space, weight, ergonomics and safety were extensively and closely examined.’
Since 2009 Imtech Marine has had a leading role during the preparations for this major modernisation. Two projects have preceded the implementation; the Walrus Engineering Support Project and the Production Engineering Project. Apart from Imtech Marine the companies Nevesbu and Verebus, Nedinsco, Technovia and the research institute TNO were also involved in these preparatory projects.
The Imtech Marine project team will work closely together with the specialist maintenance team of the Royal Netherlands Navy. In the same period the Royal Netherlands Navy will carry out the Multi Annual Maintenance, including another extensive project; the renewal of the conservation of the hull. This labour intensive job consists of the removal of the current skin, if necessary repairing the hull of the ship and renewal of the conservation.
Imtech Marine starts in the second half of 2013 with works on board of the HNLMS Zeeleeuw. After that the HNLMS Dolfijn, HNLMS Bruinvis and HNLMS Walrus will follow. The fourth and last submarine will be ready in 2020.
Press Release, May 24, 2013; Image: Imtech