Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) will supervise the project, together with DMO, as the main contractor. Damen will not do this alone; more than a hundred companies from the Dutch naval construction sector are involved in this ship. This means that a large part of the sector will be deployed to participate in this innovative new ship.
With HNLMS Den Helder, the maritime supply capacity of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be restored. The ship will operate alongside the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman. This vessel also forms the basis for the design of this Combat Support Ship. The new ship can be used worldwide and can operate under high threat, protected by frigates. In addition, she can be used in the fight against drug trafficking, controlling refugee flows and providing emergency aid.
The construction contract is not contracted out elsewhere in Europe. DMO wishes to keep the knowledge and skills of designing and building naval ships in the Netherlands. The armed forces thus invoked Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It states that Member States may protect essential security interests. This also relates to the production of defence equipment.
Completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. A year later, in the second quarter of 2025, the Combat Support Ship must be operable. The size of the total project budget is 375 million euros.
About Den Helder Combat Support Ship
The nearly 200-meter-long ship will have a 75-person crew and can also take an additional 75 people on board. The design can accommodate several helicopters and around 20 ISO containers. The construction cost of 375 million Euros is almost € 50 million higher than previously calculated. This is partly due to new standard requirements and developments in marine construction, energy, the environment and safety.
For example, the design has now explicitly looked at fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The combination of diesel engines, hull shape and propeller design reduces fuel consumption by around 6 percent compared to the Karel Doorman JSS.
Delivery of the Den Helder is scheduled for the 2nd quarter of 2024. A year later, in the 2nd quarter of 2025, the CSS must be ready for duty with the RNLN
During NEDS 2019, Damen was showcasing a scale model of the CSS (pictures above) featuring the following dimensions:
- Length over all: 179.3 meters
- Beam: 26.4 meters
- Displacement: 22,400 tonnes