HNLMS Den Helder

Alewijnse wins contract for Dutch Navy’s new combat support ship

Alewijnse Marine recently signed a contract with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding for the installation activities, including the military equipment, for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNLN) new combat support ship, HNLMS Den Helder.

HNLMS Den Helder
Photo: Damen

As informed, Alewijnse was selected by Damen as the main electrical installation contractor. The two parties have previously cooperated on numerous projects, including many highly complex defence & security projects for navies around the world.

Alewijnse has already performed electrical installation for the navy’s Holland-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and for the joint support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman. In addition, the company recently supported the refit of HNLMS Pelikaan at Damen Shipyards Den Helder.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with Alewijnse on this project. Having worked together in the past on similar projects – such as the joint support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman – I am very confident in their suitability for this project,” Arjan Risseeuw, project director DSNS, commented.

Innovative techniques

Meeting the high complexity of the project is being aided by the application of innovative techniques.

“There is a high degree of 3D modelling involved in this project execution. With this we can track every piece of equipment and quickly receive information relating to it,” Florin Nicutaru, Alewijnse segment manager, explained.

“We will be able to monitor processes very carefully and gain an accurate picture of our progress day-by-day for optimal efficiency.”

Dutch project

The Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands is keen to maintain the knowledge and skills to design and build such ships within the Netherlands and has, therefore, not issued a tender for the combat support ship project elsewhere in Europe.

For this, the ministry invoked Article 346 on the Functioning of the European Union. This states that EU Member States may protect essential security interests, including those related to the production of defence equipment.

The Netherlands boasts an extensive naval supply chain with broad capabilities. Alewijnse is amongst more than a hundred Dutch companies operating in the naval sector to be working on this vessel, with Damen being the main contractor.

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HNLMS Den Helder

HNLMS Den Helder will restore the maritime replenishment capacity of the navy.

She will operate as a replenishment ship like HNLMS Karel Doorman, operating globally, sometimes in high threat situations, under the protection of frigates.

Additionally, her work will include the prevention of drug trafficking, the control of refugee flows and provision of emergency aid.

The supply ship, which is almost 200 meters long, will be able to accommodate a 75-person crew and can also take 75 extra people on board. There is room for several helicopters and around 20 containers. The design explicitly looked at fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The combination of diesel engines, hull shape and propeller design reduces fuel consumption by around 6 % compared to HNLMS Karel Doorman.

The completion of the ship is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. A year later, in the second quarter of 2025, the newbuild is planned to be operational.