The Netherlands’ Defense Material Organisation (DMO) procurement agency has awarded a contract to Damen Shipyards Den Helder (DSDH) to build a prototype Expeditionary Survey Boat (ESB).

Once the craft is delivered, the Royal Netherlands Navy will use it to conduct rapid environmental assessments and hydrographic surveys in harbours, river mouths, shallow waters, coastal areas and shipping channels.

The ESB will replace existing smaller vessels that are used for hydrographic surveys although they are not specifically made for survey work.

“It will be a small but complex project and we hope it will be a valuable addition to the Royal Dutch Navy.”

DSDH managing director Jelle Loosman said: “We have eighteen months in which to build and deliver this vessel. It will be a small but complex project and we hope it will be a valuable addition to the Royal Dutch Navy.”

Under the contract, DSDH is will handle the design, engineering, and construction of the boats.

The contract states that the boats should be capable of being transported in davits onboard large logistics support vessels such as the JSS Karel Doorman and the LPD Johan de Witt.

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Four personnel will man the craft, including two to crew the boat and two to operate the hydrographic equipment.

The ESB is expected to have the ability to spend more than 60 hours continuously at sea at a survey speed of 5k.

Measuring 15.7m in length and 4.18m in height, the 24t boat will carry a full suite of hydrographic equipment.

Damen also noted that vessel will incorporate both hardened weapons positions and ballistic protection around the wheelhouse, engine room, and the gun positions.