HMS Holland, first of a new class of Royal Netherlands Navy patrol vessels of the same name, has been named “Ship of the Year”. The prestigious prize has been awarded to the innovative ship, which was designed and mostly built in the Netherlands, during the annual Maritime Awards Gala in Rotterdam on 8 November 2012.
HMS Holland was competing against ten other ships for the award, with the decision ultimately coming down to HMS Holland and two other vessels: Damen’s own HSSV 2610 Twin Axe Marineco Shamal, and IHC Merwede’s cutter suction dredger Athena. The Navy vessel ultimately won largely due to the groundbreaking maritime concept underlying the design. Amongst other things, the concept makes it possible to operate the vessel with a crew of only 50.
Operation with a small crew is possible partly thanks to the integrated mast, which incorporates sensor, communication and radar systems, and the revolutionary layout of the command bridge. This is located behind the navigation bridge and is the first command bridge to have windows. Another innovation is the one-man bridge concept. Although modern electronics and an efficient layout reduce the crew’s workload, the crew now have to perform auxiliary tasks more often than was previously the case.
HMS Holland is the result of a unique cooperation between the government, industry, suppliers and knowledge institutions within the Netherlands Maritime Cluster. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation decided to nominate HMS Holland for Ship of the Year because of its high score in the areas of innovativeness, safety, economics and the environment.
The security situation on the world’s oceans has made it necessary to protect merchant vessels with increasing frequency. The design of HMS Holland, lightly armed but still awe-inspiring, is excellently suited for such duty. As a result, foreign governments are also interested in the vessel. In addition to a small and efficient crew, the vessel is equipped with an on-board helicopter and two fast motor boats. This means that HMS Holland needs only two diesel and two electrical motors, making it inexpensive to run and environmentally friendly. This is also true of the bioreactor, which purifies waste water so it can be released right into the sea. HMS Holland is the first of a series of four patrol vessels that will be used to replace the multipurpose frigates that have already been decommissioned and sold.
The kick-off of the second annual Maritime Week will be held at the seventh Maritime Awards Gala. The Dutch maritime sector will be in the spotlight from 8-17 November 2012, with dozens of activities being organised during this special event.