Royal Bahamas Defence Force contracts Damen for fleet of long range patrol craft
Following a six-year acquisition program, the Government of the Bahamas has announced the signing of a Letter of Intent to acquire 9 vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and construction work for their naval bases. The contract has been placed with Damen Shipyards Group, headquartered in Gorinchem, the Netherlands.
In announcing the contract, the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, stressed that his Government was determined to protect the security and economic well-being of the people of the Bahamas and this order was a powerful endorsement of this commitment.
Naval base construction works
The project will include the acquisition of a fleet of various vessel types and the upgrading and construction of three bases in the Bahamas. There will be additional dredging works to facilitate the new long range patrol craft and to provide the Defence Force with first class facilities.
The fleet of vessels includes a dedicated roll-on, roll-off landing craft (a Stan Lander 5612) which will be fitted with a 25 tonne crane and demountable disaster relief equipment. Special containers will be acquired to provide emergency relief, medical facilities, desalinated water and sanitary equipment which will rapidly be deployed in the event of a natural disaster. In addition, eight patrol vessels, four of the Damen Stan Patrol 4207 type and another four type SPa 3007, will join the Bahamas’ fleet.
Damen Coastal and Offshore Patrol Vessels already operate for years in the coastal waters of the USA, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Honduras, Cape Verde and the Netherlands.
The specialised long range patrol craft are designed to operate in the shallow waters of the Bahamas and will help to plug the gaps in the security network while addressing the concern of local fishermen who have been demanding more protection for this vital sector of the economy.
Bahamas Class upgrade
Included in the contract is a mid-life upgrade of the Bahamas Class vessels that entered service in 1999. This upgrade will be undertaken in the Bahamas under Damen’s supervision and will extend the operational lifecycle of these vessels for several years.
Partnership with Van Oord
Damen has been in business for over 85 years. In that time Damen has not only specialised in vessel design and shipbuilding, but also in the logistical and civil engineering challenges that often surround major new building projects. For the Royal Bahamas Defence Force project the company is partnering with one of the world’s largest dredging companies – Van Oord – to deliver the entire package in the shortest possible time frame, commencing in early 2014. The contract will include a spares and training package and great emphasis will be placed on skills transfer to ensure the vessels can be maintained and operated by Bahamians.
Much of the work to be undertaken by Van Oord will be subcontracted to local partners and will enhance access to Matthew Town in Greater Inagua and Gun Point in Ragged Point. Additional works and marine assets are earmarked in Bimini and Grand Bahamas to ensure the northern zone is also fully protected.
Damen Area Director Americas, Mr Sander van Oord, said: “Damen is a company that prides itself on the quality and performance of the ships we build. We are delighted to welcome the Government of the Bahamas to our family and will strive to deliver this package on time and within budget. These are the hallmarks of Damen that have helped us become market leader in the Caribbean.”
A short video is available at youtube.com:
More vessel info
The package, codenamed “Sandy Bottom” of vessels comprises:
• 4 Stan Patrol 4207 for blue water patrolling of the Economic Exclusive Zone and Area of Responsibility of the Bahamas. With a range of over 2000 Nm and a top speed of over 20 knots, the SPa 4207 will have endurance in excess of 10 days of operation. This vessel type is operational around the world, amongst others with the UK Border Agency (www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjLDIFm_tuE / www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/organisation/cutters/).
• 4 Stan Patrol 3007 - with its shallow draft this brand new Damen vessel is specifically designed for operations in the coastal waters and shallow banks of the Bahamas.
• 1 Stan Lander 5612 is intended for logistic supply of the Forward Operating Locations, Gun Point & Matthew Town, and will serve as Disaster Relief Vessel to the Family Islands in case of natural emergencies, such as hurricanes.
Please see Damen Shipyards Group company electronic office
Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
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