The Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s (RBDF) corvette HMBS Nassau (P-61) is set to undergo lifetime extension repair work at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam in the Netherlands.

The 60m-long vessel will receive upgrades such as full systems and instrumentation replacement along with steelwork, repainting and fully replacing the vessel inventory.

The repairing work will be carried out for approximately nine months, following which the vessel will return to the Bahamas.

"The main engines will be overhauled by Pon Power. The vessel’s bridge will also be completely renewed."

Damen Regional Service Manager for the Caribbean Tom Mastenbroek said: “The P-61 is 17 years old and is in need of a complete refit.

“So this is going to be a complete renovation project.

“The yard will overhaul all the ship’s systems; replacing components where necessary. The main engines will be overhauled by Pon Power. The vessel’s bridge will also be completely renewed.”

The repair work is a part of the Sandy Bottom Project signed by the Damen Shipyards Group and the RBDF in 2014.

Under the terms of the project, the RBDF will receive nine Damen vessels, disaster relief equipment, and a bridge simulator, upgrade of various local ports collaborating with Van Oord and repair of two corvettes.

Damen is currently repairing the RBDF’s first corvette, HMBS Bahamas P-60, at a local shipyard in the Bahamas.

Both the corvettes will be refitted to resemble the equipment and instrumentation of the nine new vessels that are being purchased by the RBDF from Damen. The new vessels include the Stan Patrol 3007, Stan Patrol 4207 and Stan Lander 5612.

The functional commonality between the ships is expected to standardise crew mobilisation and training.

The bridge simulator, which is expected to be delivered at the end of this year, will enable crews to perform training simulations of all vessels under the project.

Image: HMBS Nassau arrives at Damen shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.