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Friday, December 20, 2019 

Damen Shipyards Group has announced that the Cabinet of the Netherlands’ Government has authorised the start of construction of the Combat Support Ship (CSS) 'Zr Ms Den Helder' by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).

With this new ship, the supply capacity of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) will once expand to two ships, with this month marking 10 years since the last contract for a large Dutch naval vessel was awarded.

Director of DSNS Hein van Ameijden said: “De Schelde has been the most important supplier to the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Netherlands Navy for 140 years. Our specialty is in delivering complex naval vessels on time and within budget, always working with a broad chain of Dutch suppliers. Fortunately, we have a healthy export market, so that in the intervening years we were able to maintain the level of expertise in the Netherlands. Together with our Dutch partners we have built 10 frigates for international customers. In addition, at this moment we are building a complex ice breaker for the Australian Government. That is why we are now ready and equipped for the upcoming projects for the Royal Netherlands Navy."

The CSS  is based on the design of the Joint Support Ship Zr Ms Karel Doorman. By taking an existing design as a basis, it will be possible to deliver the ship in 2024. The almost 200m-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 20 containers. The engineering of the CSS largely takes place in the Netherlands and a large number of components will be delivered by Dutch suppliers. The CSS is built by Damen in Romania, after which the ship’s final components and the combat management system will be installed in Den Helder.

In addition to the CSS DSNS is expected to build the new frigates replacing the M-frigates of both the Belgian and Dutch navies. The yard was recently selected, together with its Swedish partner Saab Kockums, for the next phase in the replacement programme of the Walrus class submarines.

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