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The Dutch JSS Multi-Purpose Support Ship

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  • The Dutch JSS Multi-Purpose Support Ship

    The Dutch JSS Multi-Purpose Support Ship


    In January 2010, Damen Schelde announced a contract from the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation to build a 28,000t “Joint Logistic Support Ship” (JSS), which will become the HNLMS Karel Doorman. The vessel is scheduled to launch in 2014, and will replace the retired 16,900t HNLMS Zuiderkruis external link.

    The Dutch want a very versatile ship that can resupply other warships, transport significant loads of army equipment and vehicles, act as a floating headquarters, take on hospital duties, and embark up to 6 helicopters. That level of versatility will come with costs. Canada’s ill-fated JSS program had similar or larger ambitions, but the 3-ship, C$ 2.9 billion program was ultimately suspended when contractors informed the government that they could not supply what Canada wanted at the prices demanded. Can the Netherlands be more successful? So far, the answer is “yes.”

    The Dutch JSS: HNLMS Karel Doorman


    The program’s last-reported budget is EUR 365.5 million (currently about $485 million). Karel Doorman is due for delivery in 2014, in order to become operational in mid-2015. The question will be whether the program can remain on budget and on-schedule, or whether the versatility requested will create design and testing challenges that will raise the final price, and result in late delivery. So far, the ship is precisely on schedule.

    Size: The Dutch JSS design measures 205m/ 672’6″ long with 30m/ 98’5″ beam, and 27,800t total displacement. That offers much more space compared to the 190m length, 20m beam, and 16,900t displacement of the replenishment ship HNLMS Zuiderkruis, which was decommissioned on Feb 10/12.

    Power: Ship power and propulsion will come from 5 diesel generators offering up to 25 MW, and speeds of up to 18 knots will be achieved using 2 main electric motors of 9 MW each, driving 2 fixed-pitch propeller shaftlines, 2 bow thruster pods, and 1 stern thruster pod.

    Logistics: In order to fulfill its main supply role, the Dutch JSS will have 2 Replenishment-At-Sea masts, an elevator and crane for up to 40 tonnes, a large (“2000 lanemeters”) vehicle storage or evacuee holding area with roll on/roll off (Ro-Ro) capability, and a “steel beach” stern design for cargo transfer via landing craft. A large helicopter deck can handle up to 2 CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and the hangar will be able to hold up to 6 NH90 helicopters with rotors folded, or 2 CH-47 Chinooks with rotors operational. By comparison, HNLMS Zuiderkruis used to carry 2 smaller Lynx helicopters.

    The JSS contract suggests that either (1) additional NH90 orders may be forthcoming; (2) leased helicopters will be used to fill the JSS, just as the USA uses leased AS330 Pumas for its T-AKE supply ships; or (3) the Dutch RNLAF will employ some of their Boeing CH-47D/F Chinooks and/or Eurocopter AS532-U2 Cougar Mk2s on board JSS.

    At present, Dutch NH90 orders involve 12 NH90 NFH naval anti-submarine helicopters, and 8 marinized NH90 TTH medium transports that could equip its LPDs and JSS ship. Specifying the Chinook for ship hangar storage is very unusual, as it isn’t marinized against the salt-water environment, and its height and features make it less than ideal for naval storage. Diagrams provided in the Parliamentary briefing clearly show stowed Chinooks, however, and the CH-47 will remain the Netherlands’ main heavy-lift helicopter option into the foreseable future. As such, designing the ship to operate with Chinooks gives the RNLN unique and useful options when operating with other Dutch services, or with allies.

    Zuiderkruis, retired 2012

    Sensors & Defense: The sensor suite, including the Thales I-Mast 400 integrated mast external link, is reportedly borrowed from the new Holland Class OPVs that Damen is still building for the RNLN.

    Self-defense capabilities will include 2 of Thales Nederlands 30mm Goalkeeper gatling gun systems, for last-ditch missile defense and withering fire against boats and UAVs, 2 single-barrel Oto Melara Marlin WS 30mm cannon that can be aimed and fired from stations within the ship, 4 Oto Melara HITROLE RWS with 12.7mm machine guns, and 4 SRBOC launchers to put up quick chaff screens against incoming missiles. This compares with HNLMS Zuiderkruis’ single Goalkeeper system and 2 manned 12.7mm stations. The new JSS ships are also expected to include “signature reduction measures” in radar and infrared, ballistic protection, blast resistant construction, redundant and shock resistant systems, a gas citadel, and extensive fire fighting systems.

    Other: HNLMS Karel Doorman is expected to hold 150 crew. Automation is expected to help achieve these low manning totals. Another 150 residents would include people like helicopter crews, medical teams for the ships 2 independent operating theaters, etc. Unlike the Canadian JSS competition, the Dutch ship is not expected to offer any capabilities for ice-breaking, or reinforcements to cope with iced ocean operations.

    Contracts and Key Events

    Karel Doorman under construction

    July 22/13: Leaving Romania. The future Dutch JSS ship Karel Doorman leaves Romania, en route to Vlissingen in The Netherlands for final outfitting. She’s expected to arrive in mid-August, and installation of the Thales I-Master 400 integrated mast is expected to begin in January 2014.

    The ship was built in Damen Shipyards Galati. Alewijnse Marine Galati supplied and installed over 490 km of cabling on board, performing 25,216 connections.

    June 7/11: Keel laid. The formal keel-laying ceremony takes place in Romania at the Damen yard in Galatz.

    Feb 5/10: Engines. Rolls Royce announces external link an order to supply Bergen diesel engines for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s JSS. The vessel will be equipped with 4 Bergen B32:40V12A generator sets, and one B32:40L6A to provide diesel electrical power and propulsion.


    Jan 18/10: Contract. Damen Schelde announces the JSS contract, and gives a scheduled launch date of 2014 but no cost information. Base construction will largely take place at Damen Shipyard Galati under supervision of DSNS. The next stage will take place at DSNS’ premises in Vlissingen, where the complete engineering, purchasing of material packages, final systems outfitting, commissioning and testing of the vessel and all of her systems will take place.

    The list of key suppliers remains: Thales Nederland, Thales France, Rhode & Schwarz Nederland, and Finmeccanica subsidiary Oto Melara in Italy (for naval RWS systems, presumably).

    Meanwhile, Canada is reportedly preparing to re-start its own JSS competition, and the Dutch design could create an additional contender. Weapon programs whose design breaks new ground add a lot of expense. If the Dutch government has effectively subsidized that R&D work for a ship that could meet Canada’s revised requirements, Damen Schelde may be able to offer the Canadians a lower risk option. The key questions would be whether Canada can accept the lack of ice-breaking capability; and whether it can wait until successful performance on the Dutch contract offers assurances that the design and equipment won’t require major changes, and costs won’t jump again.

    Nov 3-6/09: MvD Report. The Dutch MvD offers a briefing to Parliament regarding the Joint Logistic Support Ship, and describes the project budget as EUR 365.5 million (about $538 million) – a 37.7% escalation from the initial 2005 figures of EUR 265 million. That cost increase breaks down as follows:

    • EUR 25 million for an enlarged design.
    • EUR 15 million for additional finishing work at Vlissingen. De Schelde has traditionally handled items like the upper structure and all military equipment, but Vlissingen appears to have been given this role for JSS. That adds costs, and also risk.
    • EUR 46 million for inflation, based on general price and wage indices of the Central Bureau of Statistics and other statistical agencies from 2005 – 2009 (17.35% total), and validated by the Defense Audit Service.
    • EUR 12 million for price increases specific to shipbuilding. This includes rises in commodity prices, but demand for diesel engines, electrical wiring and equipment are also up. Figures from the Association of Dutch Shipbuilding Industry (VNSI) show that prices in the Dutch shipbuilding market rose 25% from 2005 – 2009, then partially receded.

    There are no contracts yet, but there are draft agreements for the platform, the Sewaco systems and other matters. These draft agreements contain provisions including penalty clauses. The final contract will stipulate which suppliers shall be involved, and subcontractors have not yet chosen yet, but key suppliers to date include Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania, Thales Nederland, Thales France, Rhode & Schwarz Nederland, and Finmeccanica subsidiary Oto Melara in Italy.

    Source: Defenseindustrydaily

  • #2
    is this confirmed?

    Defence to Sell Off Biggest Navy Ship Before It Is Finished
    (Source: Dutch News; published September 5, 2013)

    THE HAGUE --- The defence ministry has to find over 300 million euros of extra savings. The Dutch navy's biggest vessel, currently being built n Vlissingen will be sold before it is commissioned, Trouw newspaper reported Wednesday.

    The scrapping of the logistics support ship, which was to be the biggest and tallest ship in the Dutch navy, is part of a 330 million euro pruning operation, according to the paper. Where the navy gives up a ship, an entire battalion will be scrapped in the army.

    The air force will also have to make do with six or seven fewer F16 fighter aircraft. At the same time, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft is being chosen as the successor to this fleet. The number of JSFs will depend on the price. A ceiling of 4 billion euros will apply to the total order.

    These measures, to be announced on Prince's Day (17 September), are on top of the 1 billion euros in cutbacks that Defence had already been saddled with earlier. As part of this, 12,000 jobs will be lost, mostly in the higher echelons.

    According to Trouw, while the Karel Doorman (which will cost over 400 million euros), is being sold, at the same time, a new but smaller and cheaper supply ship will be built. HMS Amsterdam (commissioned in 1995), now sailing in the Caribbean, will also have to remain in service longer than planned.

    The navy will also have to sacrifice a company, which involves 180 to 200 people. Which battalion will be scrapped is not yet clear. It could be one of the four armoured infantry battalions, possibly one of the two stationed in Havelte.

    The scrapping of a battalion costs between 600 and 650 jobs. Additionally, the pruning of support services is to yield savings of 40 million euros.



    • #3
      No it's not. As of this moment purely speculations within the Dutch military. None of those budget cuts are officially confirmed.
      The only thing that is confirmed is that the Dutch government is likely to continue with the JSF program and also place a first
      order with a maximum budget of 4.6 million euro's (not 4 like the article tells).


      • #4
        Vossiej schreef Bekijk Berichten
        No it's not. As of this moment purely speculations within the Dutch military. None of those budget cuts are officially confirmed.
        Nor are they denied.
        I don't agree you blaming it on the military. The first indications came from the media.
        Vossiej schreef Bekijk Berichten
        The only thing that is confirmed is that the Dutch government is likely to continue with the JSF program and also place a first
        order with a maximum budget of 4.6 million euro's (not 4 like the article tells).
        I think 4 is more correct, as the 2 test aircraft are sitting idle in a hangar and the parkingmeter is running and keeps on running.


        • #5
          Though it hasn't been confirmed yet, I think we can all rest assured that the JSS will never enter service with the Dutch navy. Multiple nations are eyeballing her at the moment and it's not unrealistic to say that she'll be sold straight out of the dock to a foreign customer.


          • #6
            The Dutch JSS Multi-Purpose Support Ship: For Sale?
            Sep 07, 2013

            For Sale? NIS reports that Dutch budget cuts will force them to sell the Karel Doornan before they ever commission her. It’s part of an effort to find EUR 330 million in savings, which will also include the reduction of a Navy company, an Army battalion, and 6-7 of the RNLAF’s remaining F-16s. The F-35′s acquisition budget will reportedly be capped at 4 billion, which is likely to leave them with less than half the planes they planned on if they persist in buying that type.

            Source: Defenseindustrydaily

            Waarschijnlijk gewoon een napraat artikel zonder zelf onderzoek gedaan te hebben.