The Damen Shipyards Group has signed a contract with the Dutch and Swedish Ministries of Defence for a seven-year, in-service maintenance contract covering a total of five vessels. All of these are tugs purchased from Damen.
The agreement covers all maintenance, both scheduled and non-scheduled, with the exception of the routine operational activities which fall within the remit of the crew. The scheduled maintenance will take place according to a pre-determined plan that has been agreed between all the parties concerned. Both ministries will also have full access to a 24/7 service desk in the event of additional works being required.
The crews may receive training from Damen for their routine maintenance tasks, and training in vessel handling and manoeuvring at the simulator training centre operated by 360-Control in IJmuiden.
The agreement with the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) covers three Damen ASD 2810 Hybrid tugs. Two of these, the Noordzee and Waddenzee, were delivered in February and April respectively. The third, named the Zuiderzee, is due for delivery in June. Their maintenance will be provided by the nearby Damen Shipyards Den Helder.
For the Swedish Royal Navy, Damen Shiprepair Oskarshamnsvarvet on Sweden's Baltic coast will be performing the maintenance on their two Damen ASD 3010 tugs (ICE class), named HMS Hector and HMS Hercules.
MX-suite software will be used to remotely monitor the operations of all five tugs, with real-time information on data such as engine hours being used to ensure that servicing takes place exactly when it is due.
The procurement of the tugs is a joint venture between the Defence Material Organisation of the Netherlands and the Swedish Forsvarets Materielverk (FMV). The maintenance contract was signed by Anders P. Nilsson, Head of Surface Warfare, Swedish Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Captain RNLN J. F. Kwak, Head of Project Procurement, on behalf of the Dutch Materiel Organisation), Jelle Loosman, MD of Damen Shipyards Den Helder and René Berkvens, CEO of the Damen Shipyards Group.
Peter van den Berg, Deputy Director of Damen Shipyards Den Helder, commented: "The maintenance management solutions that we and Damen Shiprepair Oskarshamnsvarvet will be providing will relieve the navies of the time and effort needed to ensure that these vessels are fully operational at all times. The Den Helder location ensures that we are just a short distance from where the Dutch tugs are based, and means that we can also take responsibility for storing the spare parts. At Den Helder we have also established a specialised training team to support organisations and companies adapting to the new technology of hybrid vessels. The Oskarhamn location is situated exactly between the operational areas of the Swedish tugs. The two ways flow of information that is generated as a result ensures that our vessels continue to develop so that they best meet the needs of our customers."