It is initially about the construction of four naval ships, called MKS 180, for a total amount of 4.5 billion euros. In addition, there is an option for two more ships, says Damen spokesperson Rick van de Weg. How much that would yield is not yet known.
The frigates are approximately 155 meters long and can be used for various purposes; such as crisis situations, anti-piracy missions or the detection of submarines, reports the German Ministry of Defense. The ships must be able to stay on mission for two years and have around 110 crew members on board.
The ships will not be built in the Netherlands. That happens in Hamburg on the site of the Blohm + Voss company. That is another subsidiary of the German shipbuilder Lurssen. It was the first time that an order for the German navy was put out to tender internationally.
At Damen, the thinking will mainly be done, says Van de Weg. As the main contractor, the company will be responsible for the design and business of intellectual property. Of the 4.5 billion, approximately 1.35 billion euros will end up in the Netherlands as a result of this division of work.
Van de Weg does not know whether Damen needs to hire extra people because of the job.
Radars from Hengelo?
In Hengelo, the assignment may also provide extra work. The French concern Thales is a major contender for supplying the radar installations on the ships. These installations are made in Hengelo, but according to Thales spokesperson Frank van de Wiel it is still too early to uncork the champagne.
This is because the contract has not yet been signed. The German combination Naval Yards and Thyssenkrupp still has the possibility to object. In addition, the decision still has to be approved in the German parliament, the Bundestag. That decision will be made in the spring of this year.
Battle of submarines
The fact that Damen won the contract at the expense of German competition is a boost. The company is also fighting on a different front with, among others, Thyssenkrupp, a German billiard group from Essen.
Together with the Swedish company Saab, Damen is one of three combinations that are still in the race to win a billion-dollar order from the Dutch Ministry of Defense.
It involves the construction of four submarines, good for an order of 2.5 billion euros. That contract is likely to be awarded in 2022, State Secretary Barbara Visser recently told the House of Representatives.