Damen Naval has placed the mast on board the Royal Netherlands Navy’s new Combat Support Ship Den Helder. It means the ship was ready to be moved from the dock to the quayside to enter the second-to-last phase of construction.

The next phase of construction involves bringing all systems on board to life. Now that the power on board has been turned on, work along the quay will include installation and commissioning work of all systems on board. This also includes extensive system testing by project staff and system specialists.

Also read: VIDEO: Dutch Combat Support Ship Den Helder spotted on the Danube

Following the successful conclusion of the Harbour Acceptance Tests, the Combat Support Ship is due to start sea trials next years, which will be carried out under the responsibility of Damen Naval and with the cooperation of the Royal Netherlands Navy. It will be the first time the Combat Support Ship ventures out to sea.

The vessel is scheduled to be handed over to the Dutch Ministry of Defence in the first half of 2024. A year later, in the second quarter of 2025, the Combat Support Ship must be operable.

Combat Support Ship Den Helder by Materiel and IT Command
By Maritime and IT Command.
Combat Support Ship Den Helder
By Materiel and IT Command.

All pictures by Materiel and IT Command (the former Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation of the Dutch Ministry of Defence).

Combat Support Ship Den Helder

HNLMS Den Helder is a new replenishment oiler under construction for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Also known as the Combat Support Ship (CSS), Den Helder is planned to fill the gap of replenishment at sea that was left after HNLMS Amsterdam was sold to Peru in 2014.

With the CSS, the maritime supply capacity of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be restored. The ship will operate alongside the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman. The new ship can be used worldwide and can operate under high threat, protected by frigates.

In addition, it can be used in the fight against drug trafficking, controlling refugee flows and providing emergency aid. The almost 200-metre-long ship will have a 75-person crew and can also take an additional 75 people on board. There is room for several helicopters and around twenty containers.

Curious about the capabilities of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s new Combat Support Ship? Don’t miss SWZ|Maritime’s May 2023 navy special, which includes the article “The Combat Support Ship – Facts and Features” giving you all the ins and outs of this new navy vessel. Not yet a subscriber? Please visit our subscriptions page and don’t miss it.

Also read: Dutch navy’s new Combat Support Ship Den Helder floated