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New Dutch expeditionary survey vessel enters service

The Dutch navy's new ESB Hydrograaf entered service on 21 November. (RNLN)

The Royal Netherlands Navy's (RNLN's) new expeditionary survey boat (ESB), HrMs Hydrograaf (H 8021), has officially entered service.

The mini hydrographic survey vessel was formally handed over to the RNLN by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) on 21 November.

Hydrograaf was designed and built by Damen Shipyards Den Helder (DSDH) under a contract awarded by the DMO in 2019. Laid down in February 2020 and launched in January 2021, the vessel was delivered to the DMO in May 2021 following the successful completion of sea-acceptance trials.

A spokesperson told Janes the planning schedule for the delivery of the boat to the navy to start operations has been impacted by a range of factors, including delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, time needed for crew training, additional seaworthiness certification activities, and the supply of documentation and spare parts by Damen.

Hydrograaf is equipped with advanced hydrographic, navigation, and communication systems, and has been designed primarily for rapid environmental assessment and shallow-water survey in areas such as harbours and river entrances. It can also be deployed by davit from HrMs Johan de Witt and HrMs Karel Doorman , as well as vessels of opportunity.

Displacing 24 tonne when fully loaded, Hydrograaf has an overall length of 15.7 m, an endurance of 72 hours at a range of 100 n mile, and a top speed of 20 kt. It carries a complement of four personnel – including two crew members and two technicians to operate the hydrographic equipment.

Other features include ballistic protection for machinery spaces, wheelhouse, and gun positions.

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