ENGIE Solutions wins contract for Belgian-Dutch minehunter program

Kership, a subsidiary of the shipyards Naval Group and Piriou, has selected ENGIE Solutions to carry out the studies and installation of all the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and cold rooms on six minesweepers for the Royal Belgian Navy and six units for the Dutch Navy.

Designed by Naval Group, these next-generation ships, which can withstand navigation in extreme cold or extreme heat conditions, will be built as part of a fleet renewal programme managed by Belgium for both countries. The ships will supersede the current minesweepers dating from the 1980s.

The HVAC system to be installed by ENGIE Solutions will include a chilled water production unit and an NBC production system –pressurisation of the ship with nuclear, biological and chemical filtration — to ensure safe air quality for the crew during their missions to detect, classify and neutralise mines at sea.

The ships will be assembled and fitted out in Brittany at the Concarneau and Lorient Kership yards.

After the design studies, currently underway, the first technical equipment will be ready in 2021. The aim is to deliver the first boat in 2024, then a boat every six months until 2029.

Earlier this month, Naval Group and Kership also selected ABC and FN Herstal as key suppliers for Belgium’s and Dutch mine countermeasures program. The duo will deliver critical capabilities of the vessels, respectively in the domain of combat system and propulsion.

Belgian-Dutch mine hunter program

Awarded in 2019, the contract for twelve minehunters for the Belgian and Dutch navies will span over ten years.

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After a design period of three years, Belgium Naval & Robotics will lead the production phase of these ships and drone systems.

Six ships will be delivered to the Belgian Navy and six to the Dutch Navy — they will be equipped with a complete drone system containing a total of more than a hundred underwater, surface and aerial drones entirely dedicated to mine hunting.