Tag Archives: Damen Shipyards Group

ASW Frigates

The Dutch Ministry of Defence, Damen and Thales have signed the contract for the design, construction, and delivery of four Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Frigates; two for the Netherlands and two for Belgium. The agreement was signed on HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81) by Defence State Secretary Christophe van der Maat, Damen Shipyards Group CEO Arnout Damen, Damen Naval Managing Director Roland Briene, and Thales Netherlands CEO Gerben Edelijn during the first day of the Sail Den Helder maritime festival.

Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Frigates
The Dutch Ministry of Defence, Damen and Thales have signed the contract for the design, construction, and delivery of four Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates

The ASW frigates are the replacements for the current Karel Doorman Class multipurpose frigates. They can be deployed for multiple tasks; however, the emphasis will be on anti-submarine warfare. The ships will have hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and will be designed to sail as quietly as possible, to avoid detection by submarines as much as possible. On board will be a comprehensive suite of sensors to detect submarines.

Dutch State Secretary Christophe van der Maat: «The acquisition of the ASW frigates is taking place in the way I prefer: through intensive cooperation, between countries, armed forces, and industry. In time, the result will be an innovative and powerful weapon system. This will benefit us as direct users, but also Europe and NATO».

«This is a wonderful project and a special new chapter for our Damen Naval division», said Damen Shipyards Group CEO Arnout Damen. «We are proud to be building these beautiful frigates and look forward to working with the many, mostly Dutch, partners and suppliers on this project. With these launching customer projects, we retain vital knowledge in our own country and thus maintain our place in the world’s top tier of complex naval construction. More importantly, the crews of the Dutch and Belgian navies get state-of-the-art frigates to carry out their crucial tasks».

«We are delighted that Thales has again been selected to supply sensor and fire control systems for a new class of ships for the Royal Netherlands Navy», said Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Netherlands. «The crew of the ASW frigates will be able to rely on our ultramodern Above Water Warfare System that provides effective defence against current and future threats. Together with the German F126 ships, the Belgian and Dutch ASW frigates will use identical, advanced technology for their defence and protection of high-value objects».

The frigates will measure 145 metres/476 feet in length, with an 18-metre/59-foot beam. They will have a draught of 5.5 metres/18 feet at a displacement of 6,400 tonnes. On board, there will be room for a 117-strong crew and capacity for additional personnel to sail with them. Among other things, the ASW frigates will be equipped with an Under Water Warfare Suite (UWWS), an Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) and underwater decoys. The ships will be armed with a 76-mm gun, MK54 torpedoes, Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and the Naval Strike Missile. The frigate can also accommodate other weapons, such as more powerful missiles and High Energy Lasers. There are also unmanned craft and aircraft on board for use on and under water as well as in the air.

The entire project is a joint operation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence, with some of the work to be carried out by the Ministry itself. Arnout Damen continues: «We have almost 150 years of knowledge, skill, and technology to coordinate and execute the design and construction of complex naval vessels. This is done not only in the Netherlands, but also at our yard in Romania, where the hulls will partly be constructed». These hulls then come to Vlissingen for further completion, the installation and integration of weapon systems and, ultimately, commissioning of the frigates for deployment to the Belgian and Dutch navies.

The current Multipurpose frigates of the Karel Doorman Class were built from 1985 by Damen Naval (then called Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde). Between 1991 and 1995, eight M-class frigates were delivered, six of which were eventually sold to other countries, including two to Belgium. With the end of the service life of these ships in sight, the Netherlands and Belgium decided to jointly replace the ships with these ASW frigates. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2029.

Combat Support Ship

With the contract signing for construction for the new supply ship HNLMS Den Helder (A834), more than a hundred, mainly Dutch companies receive work. The contract was signed today in Den Helder by the Director of Defence Material Organization (DMO), Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard and Arnout Damen, the new CEO of the family business Damen Shipyards Group.

Main contractor Damen and more than a hundred companies contribute to Combat Support Ship

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 (A834), the maritime supply capacity of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be restored. The ship will operate alongside the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman (A833). 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 supply ship, which is almost 200 metres/656 feet long, will receive a 75-person crew and can also take 75 extra people on board. There is room for several helicopters and around 20 containers. The design explicitly looked at fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The combination of diesel engines, hull shape and propeller design reduce fuel consumption by around 6% compared to HNLMS Karel Doorman (A833).

The building 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.

Mexican Reformador

ARM Reformador project shows economic impact of local shipbuilding

Working in close cooperation, Damen Shipyards Group, the Mexican Navy, subcontractors and suppliers have completed successful sea trials of the Mexican Navy’s POLA-class ARM Reformador (POLA-101). The programme of sea trials was comprehensive, including testing of platform and combat systems in addition to training of Mexican Navy crews. The completion of these sea trials indicate how the project as a whole is progressing: on budget and actually a few weeks ahead of the contracted schedule.

POLA-class ‘ARM Reformador’ completes sea trials

The ARM Reformador (POLA-101) is the latest example of how Damen forms partnerships with navies around the world to build naval vessels in local yards. In this way, the Dutch shipbuilding company is using its considerable amount of experience and expertise to build technologically sophisticated naval vessels in Damen customers yards or in third party yards.


Local economic impact

Damen has built up a strong relationship with the Mexican Navy over the last decade. This has resulted in the construction and delivery of more than ten naval vessels of various designs. Damen has also worked closely with yards like the ASTIMAR 20 naval shipyard in Salina Cruz, Mexico, where the ARM Reformador (POLA-101) has been built.

These collaborative efforts are ensuring a significant transfer of technology and knowledge into the Mexican shipbuilding industry. For example, in order to maximise the local impact of this current project, Damen has placed contracts at local companies for supplies and assistance during the construction of the ARM Reformador (POLA-101).

«This project is having a very positive impact on the local economy. More than 70% of the labour is being realised in Mexico – creating jobs and enabling local companies to develop their skills», notes Horacio Delgado, Damen’s commercial manager for Mexico. «Thanks to our excellent cooperation with the Mexican Navy, we are ensuring that this vessel is being built in Mexico, by Mexicans, and for Mexicans».


Dutch cluster expertise

The 107-metre/351-foot long POLA-class ARM Reformador (POLA-101) is the Mexican equivalent of Damen’s SIGMA Frigate 10514. A key point here is that the ARM Reformador (POLA-101) represents Damen’s tenth time building a SIGMA Frigate. The implications of this are clear: the vessel that has been built for the Mexican Navy is a proven design that benefits from the wealth of knowledge possessed by the Dutch naval shipbuilding industry. This comprises world-renowned research institutes and a dedicated naval cluster of international specialist suppliers such as Thales.

«This shows the real value of the project», adds Frank Verhelst, POLA project director at Damen. «Combining the many benefits of local construction with the high quality of Dutch naval shipbuilding – from Damen and our network of trusted suppliers and partners».

The ARM Reformador (POLA-101) project is also a reflection of Damen’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. The company has contributed to various local social activities and projects while working in Mexico. Damen’s support of the Mundo de Talentos in the State of Chiapas is an example of this. Mundo de Talentos (World of Talents) is the first sister school of IMC Weekend school in Latin America and introduces students of limited resources from 10-13 years old to the world of interesting professions and study choices.



Customer Indonesian Navy
Basic functions Naval Patrol Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), deterrence, Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASW), Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASUW), Electronic Warfare (EW)
Hull material Steel grade A/AH36
Standards Naval/Commercial, naval intact/damaged stability, noise reduced, moderate shock
Classification Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (supervision) 100 A1 SSC Mono Patrol, G6, LMC UMS
Length overall (o.a.) 345 feet/105.11 m
Beam Moulded (mld) 46.6 feet/14.2 m
Depth no.1 deck 28.7 feet/8.75 m
Draught (dwl) 12.1 feet/3.7 m
Displacement (dwl) 2,365 tonnes
Speed (Maximum power) 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km
Endurance 20 days at sea
Propulsion type Combined Diesel or Electric (CODOE)
Diesel engines 2 × 10,000 kW Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) Propulsion type
Electric motors 2 × 1300 kW
Gearbox 2 × double input input/single output
Propellers 2 × Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPP) diameter 12 feet/3.65 m
Generator sets 6 × 715 kWE
Emergency gen. set 1 × 180 kWE
Chilled water system 2 × units, redundant distribution
Fire fighting 4 × main pumps +1 x service pump
Degaussing System
Helicopter deck Maximum 10 tons helicopter, with lashing points
Helicopter operations day/night with refueling system
Helicopter hangar
RAS on helicopter deck PS&SB, astern fueling
Boats 2 × Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB)
Fully air-conditioned accommodation for 120 persons
Commanding Officer 1
Officers 26
Chief Petty Officers 10
Petty Officers 36
Junior Ratings 29
Trainee Officers 18
Provisions for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) citadel/decontamination
3D-Surveillance & target indication radar & Friend or Foe Identification (IFF)
Radar/electro optical fire control
Hull Mounted Sonar
Combat management system
Medium caliber gun 76-mm
1 × Close In Weapon System (CIWS)
2 × Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) launcher
12 cell Vertical Launching (VL) Short Range Air Defense (SHORADS)
2 × triple Torpedo launcher
Electronic Support Measures (ESM) & Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM)
2 × Decoys/chaff
Integrated internal & external communication system
Integrated bridge console, 2 × Radar, Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS-A3), reference gyro