Damen has announced the official start of the European Defense Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP)-funded ‘SEA Defence’ project.

SEA Defence is a collaboration of SEA Naval, comprising Damen, Naval Group, Navantia, SAAB Kockums, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Lürssen Defence, TNO, MARIN, Odense Maritime Technology and CTN, among others.

SEA Naval is the naval working group of the European Shipyards and Equipment Association ‘SEA Europe’.

Selected by the European Commission (EC) in June 2019, the programme will carry out a feasibility study to prepare a roadmap of technologies.

The road map will help in providing a view on the technologies to be included in the next generation of naval platforms.

It is also aimed at improving the European defence technological and industrial base.

Last week, the ‘Grant Agreement’, worth is valued at €14.29m, was signed by the EC. This represented a major step in EU naval cooperation.

Damen Shipyards Group vice-president René Berkvens said: “I am honoured that Damen has been offered the role of coordinator in this exceptional project bringing together the leading European naval shipyards.

“We thank the European Commission for giving us the opportunity to work together towards an even stronger European naval defence and technological base. We are also much obliged to the commitment and support of the participating EU member states.

“SEA Defence is the first truly European naval EDIDP project and will lay the cornerstone for future naval cooperation under the European Defence Fund.”

Earlier this month, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) performed the first steel cut for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNLN) combat support ship ‘Den Helder’.