Damen Naval has signed a contract with the first Dutch supplier for the new Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Frigates. RH Marine will supply the Integrated Mission Management System (IMMS), the Integrated Navigation Bridge System (INBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) for each of the four frigates for the Dutch and Belgian navies.

The announcement of the cooperation follows the official contract signing last week between the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Damen for the design, construction, and delivery of the new frigates.

‘One of our objectives is that we want to share the enormous knowledge accumulation we gain from this kind of high-quality, launching customer project with as many Dutch suppliers as possible,’ explains Damen Naval‘s Managing Director Roland Briene. ‘This way, the Netherlands maintains its place in the world’s top tier of complex naval construction and strengthens our position within existing and new European partnerships. This contract with RH Marine is an excellent example of that. We have been working closely together for many years and once again I am looking forward to a great project with a wonderful end result.’

Also read: Dutch Ministry of Defence signs contract for four new frigates

Anti-submarine warfare

The new frigates will be deployable for multiple tasks, although the emphasis will be on anti-submarine warfare. The vessels will be equipped with a comprehensive suite of sensors to detect submarines. The technology used will create a fast, robust, and easily maintainable system that lends itself extremely well to further growth and continuous improvement.

The systems supplied are based on the latest cyber security, network, and data centre technology, on which RH Marine‘s next-generation platform automation, bridge and mission management applications will run. The systems will allow the ship to operate with a smaller crew, with a much higher and smarter degree of automation supporting them.

RH Marine’s IPMS system uses Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) connectivity, which gives the platform flexibility in connection and configurability. This connectivity also provides the ability to store huge amounts of data from connected systems and sensors. Analysis of these data can be used to improve operational processes and support predictive maintenance.

Replacement of the M-class

The ASW frigates are the replacements for the current Karel Doorman-class of multipurpose frigates built between 1985 and 1991 by Damen Naval (then the Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde). Eight M-class frigates were delivered, of which six 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 scheduled to be delivered by Damen Naval in 2028.

Also read: Dutch Defence reaches agreement with Damen and Thales for ASW frigates