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Damen positions for potential UK/Netherlands amphibious ship requirement

Damen sees its Enforcer family of amphibious ship designs providing the basis for a joint UK/Netherlands acquisition programme. (Damen Naval)

Dutch shipbuilding group Damen is pitching its Enforcer amphibious ship family as the basis for a potential joint UK/Netherlands amphibious ship acquisition.

Enforcer is a scaled portfolio of landing platform dock (LPD) designs, ranging from 120 to 180 m in length, designed for the transport and offload of an embarked military force using both surface connecters and helicopters. Damen Naval – the naval shipbuilding division of Damen Shipyards Group – has already commenced preliminary discussions with potential UK industry partners.

The UK and Netherlands governments in late June this year signed a statement of intent (SoI) to explore opportunities to develop a common littoral strike platform to address both UK Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) requirements in the early 2030s. The RN has laid out plans for the acquisition of up to six Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) vessels to replace the two Albion-class LPDs, three Bay-class landing ship dock (auxiliary) – LSD(A) – vessels, and the primary casualty receiving ship RFA Argus. The RNLN's LPX programme is eyeing a multirole capability that would replace LPDs HNLMS Rotterdam and HNLMS Johan de Witt in the amphibious role while also assuming the patrol and surveillance tasks currently performed by the navy's four Holland-class patrol vessels.

In anticipation of a potential joint requirement, Damen showcased its Enforcer portfolio at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London in September and engaged with potential UK partners. “We welcome the news that the UK and the Netherlands are discussing a collaboration,” Richard Keulen, director naval sales support at Damen Naval, told Janes

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