Alewijnse has installed new multi-function consoles on board the Portuguese Navy’s M-frigate Bartolomeu Dias (F333) on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Defense.
The delivery of new consoles for its sister ship, Francisco de Almeida (F334), is scheduled to be completed this summer.
The M-frigates Bartolomeu Dias and Francisco de Almeida, formerly known as Van Nesand Van Galen respectively, are currently being modernised in Den Helder by the Defensie Materieel Organisatie (DMO) and the Directie Maritieme Instandhouding (DMI) of the Commando Zee Strijd Krachten (CZSK).
Systems integrator Alewijnse was contracted in 2019 for the design, construction, assembly and commissioning of the multi-function consoles (MFCs), the auxiliary control units of the command centres (CoCe) and completely new radio room consoles (RRC).
“The new MFCs replace the general operating stations (GOS) in the command centres (CoCe), the operational heart of the ships,” explains Alewijnse project manager Perry Eikelenboom.
“There, all sensor data is presented, analysed and, among other things, the decision can be taken to switch to weapons deployment. The new MFCs are more versatile and user-friendly than the old GOS, which greatly increases the effectiveness of the operators. With a view to redundancy, the basic design of the MFCs is kept as uniform as possible, so that an operator can easily change to another console in the event of a malfunction.”
Alewijnse carried out a full range of assessments before officially delivering the consoles to the Bartolomeu Dias. These included intensive simulations to measure shock and heat resistance and various test runs during the site acceptance tests. The refit works took place at the RNLN shipyard in Den Helder after which Alewijnse undertook the installation, commissioning and acceptance tests.
In 2019, Bartolomeu Dias (F333) and Francisco de Almeida (F334) celebrated their twenty-fifth birthdays and become due for the modernizations necessary to enable them to continue active service into the thirties of the 21st century.
The Portuguese Navy agreed to these major maintenance works taking place at Den Helder as, with both vessels having been built in the Netherlands, all the necessary expertise and facilities for such a complex project are readily available in the Den Helder yard.