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Damen Shipyards Group has contracted Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) to conduct an extensive series of tests for the hydrodynamic development of the new F126-class frigates for the German Navy.

The optimisation and test process will see the properties of the planned ship tested under real-life conditions, during which a several metre-long ship model of the F126 will be seen for the first time. At the request of the German Navy, together with its partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, Damen will build a total of four F126 frigates, having been named the successful bidder in 2020 after a European tender spanning several years. The vessels will be constructed in Germany, with handover of the first expected in 2028.

HSVA’s legacy of impressive innovative prowess will enable Damen to draw exclusively on German expertise for testing and trialling the design. Over the next few months, the model ship will undergo a wide range of tests in various HSVA testing facilities in Hamburg. In addition to evaluating ship resistance, propulsion and manoeuvring in smooth water, its seakeeping qualities will also be examined, and special attention will be paid to ensuring a high-quality propeller design. This extensive series of tests is the only way to ensure the high expectations of the vessels are met. The tests will be the most significant milestone so far, and an indicator of the success of development to date. More than 100 Damen employees have been working diligently in recent months on design development and ship functionality. Following the test and simulation phase, further work will involve integrating hundreds of sub-systems.

HSVA and Damen have worked together before, with the former having contributed expertise to Damen’s major project for the new Antarctic Research and Supply Vessel RSV Nuyina for Australia, for example. In addition to working together on several other projects (including new Damen ferries), both companies are part of the European joint maritime research project HOLISHIP (HOLIstic optimisation of SHIP design and operation for lifecycle).

An artist’s impression of an F126-class frigate at speed. (Image: Damen)

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