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Hull vane handed over for Holland class OPV

The performance of the hull vane (visible projecting from the stern of the model) was tested at the MARIN model basin facility. (Netherlands MoD)

HNLMS Groningen is to become the first of the Royal Netherlands Navy's (RNLN's) four Holland-class patrol ships to receive a hull vane modification.

Wageningen-based manufacturer Hull Vane BV announced that the stern-mounted underwater structure, which acts like a hydrofoil to convert energy from the stern wave and ship motions into forward thrust, had been handed over on 8 June at Den Helder naval base. Installation on Groningen will be undertaken as part of an upkeep period scheduled for early 2023.

Delivered by Damen Naval, the four Holland-class ships entered RNLN service between 2012–13. Specifically designed for low-intensity constabulary duties in both European and Caribbean waters, the vessels also have utility for counter-terror/anti-piracy operations, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

The decision to retrofit the hull vane modification – sometimes referred to as an ‘underwater spoiler' – stemmed from a 2015 study that predicted a reduction of approximately 13% in annual fuel costs through the retrofit of the ‘wing' design at the stern. Following interest from the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), a division of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, further work was performed to characterise the performance gain, optimise performance, and ensure the structural integrity of an integration.

The research effort for DMO – financed through the MIND fund (an acronym of Military Innovation by Doing) – led to the hull vane design being optimised using computational fluid dynamics. It was subsequently tested in the model basin at MARIN.

DMO contracted Hull Vane BV in late 2020 for the fabrication of the hull vane structure.

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