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Friday, October 2, 2020 

The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) support ship 'HNLMS Pelikaan' has now returned to its normal operational area in the Caribbean following an eight-month mid-life upgrade by Damen Shiprepair.

The work enables the 2006 Damen-built vessel to give a further 15 years’ service. After 13 years operating in the Caribbean Sea in support of maritime operations and in the delivery of humanitarian relief, it was time for major maintenance works at the Damen yards in Den Helder and Harlingen.

Works carried out included installing new nautical, communication and automation systems, galley upgrade and regular maintenance such as maintenance of the two main engines. The most important upgrade was the installation of a considerably heavier crane. This crane is crucial for, among other things, being able to independently carry out emergency relief operations in the Caribbean. The crane is not only considerably heavier, more modern and more user-friendly than its predecessor, it also facilitates the use of a new fast raiding interceptor and special forces craft (FRISC). This fast and manoeuvrable craft enables HNLMS Pelikaan to act more effectively in the fight against drug smuggling. Furthermore, the scope of work involved the renewal of all onboard accommodation, including making the vessel more suitable for female passengers.

Project leader Jan-Dirk Boomsma said, “The project was not without its challenges – including of course the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, with robust safety measures in place we were able to continue the work. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), the Naval Maintenance and Sustainment Agency (DMI) and the crew, we delivered the project to everyone’s satisfaction in a relatively short period of time."

Among the other Dutch companies involved in the upgrade were Alewijnse, Heinen & Hopman, Alfa Laval, Hatenboer Water, and Rohde & Schwarz.

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