On December 2nd at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania, first steel was cut on the Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNLN) Combat Support Ship (CSS) Den Helder. The cutting is the first of sixteen batches, totalling 7500 tonnes of steel in 180 sections.
This marks an important milestone in this project, the first tangible part of the construction.
The steel cutting was supposed to take place in February next year. DSNS has brought the date forward to safeguard the project’s progress during the continuing coronavirus pandemic and to effectively manage the enhanced security rules that alter the way of working for the shipyard.
With construction of the CSS, the maritime supply capacity of the RNLN will be restored. The vessel will operate alongside the Joint Support Ship (JSS) HNLMS Karel Doorman and is based on the same design. The vessel can operate worldwide and under high threat, protected by frigates. Additionally, she can be used in the fight against drug trafficking, controlling refugee flows and providing emergency aid.
Engineering of the vessel is taking place mostly in the Netherlands and the project will provide work for over 100, mainly Dutch, companies. To date, 47 contracts have been signed for the CSS, out of which 34 with Dutch maritime suppliers.
The next milestone will be in May next year when the keel-laying ceremony will take place.
Damen Shipyards Galati – 125 years of excellence in shipbuilding
With an area of 55 hectares and having approximately 2,500 employees, Damen Shipyards Galati is one of the largest production units of the Dutch Damen Group which operates 35 shipbuilding and repair yards worldwide. Since joining Damen Shipyards Group in 1999, the yard has developed into a highly efficient production shipyard with a significant output.
The yard’s shipbuilding expertise and closely-managed supply chain have been behind some of Damen’s most important deliveries to date, fully representing the group’s diverse product portfolio.
As from 1999, Damen Shipyards Galati has delivered more than 400 vessels to clients from all over the world (among which 29 naval vessels for 13 different countries, including NATO and EU countries). The company’s portfolio includes patrol ships, offshore vessels, ferries, dredgers and barges, super-yachts, naval vessels, and tugs.