Damen lays keel of CSS Den Helder

Damen: Dutch Navy’s combat support ship starting to take shape

Damen Naval, a dedicated naval shipbuilding division of the Damen Shipyards Group, has reported that the construction work on the Royal Netherlands Navy’s combat support ship (CSS) at its yard in Galati, Romania is on track.

Courtesy of Damen

The company held a keel-laying ceremony for the naval ship Den Helder in June this year.

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Damen’s design of the 179-meter long vessel consists of a total of 178 different sections. The construction drawings of 116 sections have been finalized, 80 sections have already been fabricated at the yard, and 22 are currently under construction, together representing a total amount of cut steel of 6,600 tonnes, according to the company.

Photo by Damen Naval

“It’s starting to take shape – the whole yard is full of pieces of ship and we are slowly starting to put them together,” Damen Naval project director Arjan Risseeuw described the scene at the yard.

The construction of the sections is taking place at the same time as the installation of some equipment. Specifically, this equipment includes small items – for example, more than 8,400 pieces of pipework have been fitted into the finished sections – as well as larger items. In fact, last month saw the placing of the heaviest items of equipment: four Wärtsilä 31 diesel generators.

The selection of this generator by Damen Naval and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) was based on the ambition to ensure that the CSS is as efficient as possible in terms of fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Photo by Damen Naval

What is more, the vessel is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction unit that will ensure that the CSS is compliant with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Tier III regulations concerning NOx emissions. Combined with the hull shape and propeller design, the Wärtsilä 31 is expected to reduce the CSS’s fuel consumption by about 6 per cent.

Furthermore, Damen has worked closely with Finnish tech group Wärtsilä and DMO on reducing the levels of noise and vibrations of the four generator sets. To this end, the engine and generator have been built on a base frame structure. “Placing the generator sets in the sections was a real feat. Now that they are in place, the sections can be built over them,” Risseeuw added.

“At the beginning of February, we will be pulling the first cables. And another big event is the lateral launch of modules 2 and 3 in April. In addition, we are busy with the engineering and construction of a float so that we can move the hull from dry to wet dock,” he concluded.