Damen to develop prototype expeditionary survey boat for Dutch Navy

The Netherlands’ Defense Material Organization (DMO) procurement agency has awarded Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Den Helder (DSDH) a contract to design, build and deliver a prototype expeditionary survey boat (ESB) for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The ESB is to be optimized for rapid environmental assessments and hydrographic surveys in harbors, river mouths, shallow waters, coastal areas and shipping channels.

The craft is also expected to be capable of being transported in davits on board large logistics support vessels such as the JSS Karel Doorman and the LPD Johan de Witt, as well as other suitable vessels of the Royal Dutch Navy.

As a result of this requirement, the boat must be limited in size, profile and weight. It will need to carry a full suite of hydrographic equipment and incorporate both hardened weapons positions and ballistic protection around the wheelhouse, engine room and the gun positions at a maximum length of 15.7 meters and an overall weight of 24 tons.

The craft will be manned by four persons; two to crew the boat and two technicians to operate the hydrographic equipment, and will be able to spend up over 60 hours continuously at sea at her survey speed of 5 knots.

“We are very pleased to have won this specialist project,” says Jelle Loosman, managing director of DSDH. “We have eighteen months in which to build and deliver this vessel. It will be a small but complex project and we hope it will be a valuable addition to the Royal Dutch Navy.”

The ESB will replace smaller vessels of approximately 10 meters that are currently used for hydrographic surveys but which are not specifically designed for survey work.