Dutch shipbuilder Damen has introduced a new range of Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels (MRAV) during the Oceanographic Survey Vessel Conference taking place in London June 7-9.
The series of vessels provides a basic platform offering multi-role potential and hydrographic survey capabilities to naval clients.
With the addition of supplementary modular mission equipment, the new vessels can be mobilised in numerous, mainly littoral, naval tasks such as: explosive ordnance clearance and disposal, diving operations, torpedo recovery and overhaul, ROV and UAV deployment, SAR, coastal infantry and submarine support, Damen said.
According to the company, the largest version of the range will be able to operate worldwide, on the ocean as well as in littoral waters. This ship has additional capabilities such as disaster and humanitarian relief, oceanography and naval training support.
“The idea behind these vessels is to create a basic platform that can assist in a variety of tasks through the selection of the required mission configuration, e.g. coastal transport, submarine support or coastal infantry operations. The stimulus to switch from the traditional one-to-one replacement is to lower the total cost of ownership without losing capability and capacity,” Damen Shipyards Gorinchem’s Principal Naval Advisor Jan van der Burg explained.
The new range of vessels consists of three different designs: the MRAV 660, MRAV 1600 and MRAV 3600. Designed for different geographic profiles, these vessels are respectively 43, 62 and 85 metres long.
Damen notes that, with a draught of 1.9 metres, the MRAV 660 is suited for very shallow coastal, riverine and inland water operations.
The MRAV 1600 is designed for littoral and regional offshore operations. Its larger size allows for greater endurance and carrying capacity of both crew, mission modules and cargo. The vessel will be manned by a core crew of 13, with capacity for an additional 30 mission specialists. The main deck can hold six standard 20-foot mission containers and the below-deck cargo hold can store two 20-foot containers and palletised cargo.
The largest vessel in the range, MRAV 3600, is intended for worldwide service. Capable of hydrographic operations both in littoral and deeper waters, this vessel also has a helideck and substantial storage capacity for other mission configurations, equipment and cargo. Furthermore, the MRAV 3600 can serve as a base for more extensive operations such as disaster and humanitarian relief. There is accommodation for 14 core and 45 additional mission crew and enough space on board to provide emergency hospital services for 50 to 60 people.