Damen secures steering gear contract for French Navy’s four LSS newbuilds

The Netherlands-based company Damen Marine Components (DMC) has been awarded a contract by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique for the supply of rudders and steering gear systems for the future French Navy logistic support ships (LSS) of the Jacques Chevallier class.

For each LSS, DMC will supply two Van der Velden TIMON flap-type rudders including extended trunk and steering foundations, and two Van der Velden Commander Rotary Vane steering systems along with the integrated logistic support.

As informed, the rudder design is carried out by DMC’s engineers in Hamburg and will be CFD optimised for the ship’s operational profile, with special focus on cavitation behaviour, course-keeping and manoeuvring, essential attributes for naval vessels of all types and particularly for support vessels transferring fuel and supplies at close quarters whilst underway. This capability is due to their open flap linkage mechanisms and side bar flap systems with a 90-degree angle. They also emit minimal noise and vibration, according to DMC.

The Van der Velden Commander Rotary Vane steering systems are also intended for high performance, oceangoing operations. Designed and manufactured in the Netherlands, they generate an equal high torque in all possible steering angles, and with only one rotating part is both highly safe to operate and relatively low maintenance. The systems being supplied to Chantiers de l’Atlantique will be fully compatible with the performance requirements of the TIMON rudders.

Logistic support ships

Back in January 2019, French defense procurement agency “Direction Générale de l’Armement” (DGA) officially ordered the four Bâtiments Ravitailleurs de Force (BRF) – replenishment vessels. FLOTLOG (Flotte logistique) ships will be built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group in cooperation with Fincantieri which will provide technical assistance and deliver some parts of the hull.

This order is part of a Franco-Italian program led by Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) on behalf of DGA and its Italian counterpart NAVARM.

With a fuel and freight capacity of 13,000 cbm, the newbuilds will provide logistical support to the combat vessels of the French Navy, in particular to the Charles de Gaulle carrier group – and its allies.

In May 2020, the first steel plate of the hull of the first unit was cut at Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard.

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The four vessels are scheduled for delivery in the period from late 2022 to 2029.

Photo: Fincantieri