Damen Shipyards Den Helder has signed a midlife upkeep (MLU) contract with the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the company announced on 11 July. Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) support ship HNLMS PELIKAAN and hydrographic survey vessels HNLMS SNELLIUS and LUYMES are all headed to Den Helder for an extensive maintenance and modernisation programme.
The work to be performed will include equipping the vessels with new hull plating, renewing radars and communications equipment and maintenance of the ship’s systems, along with regular maintenance. The RNLN uses the hydrographic survey vessels to chart the sea bottom and the Hydrographic Service uses this information, amongst other things, to produce nautical charts and other navigational publications. Damen will replace all the vessels’ underwater sensors to enable the vessels to perform their tasks efficiently in the future.
In its implementation and provision of engineering for this project, Damen is supported by some 30 established Dutch suppliers and sub-contractors. Work on the project will begin later this year and will be distributed between Damen Shipyards Den Helder and Damen Shiprepair Harlingen. It is expected to complete by 2021.
HNLMS PELIKAAN is the logistic support ship for the RNLN in the Caribbean, designed specifically for the region and based permanently at Curacao. Used for transportation and emergency assistance, she played a key role, for example, after Hurricane Irma in 2017. This will be the first time she has returned to the Netherlands since her commissioning in 2006.