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  • Writer's pictureLisa Foster

Royal Bahamas Defence Force Contracts Damen for New Fleet

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Following a six-year acquisition program, the Government of the Bahamas has announced the signing of a contract to acquire 9 long-range partol vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and construction work for several of their naval bases.

The contract has been placed with Damen Shipyards Group, headquartered in Gorinchem, the Netherlands.

In announcing the contract, the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, stressed that his Government was determined to protect the security and economic well-being of the people of the Bahamas and this order was a powerful endorsement of this commitment.

The project will include the acquisition of a fleet of various vessel types and the upgrading and construction of three bases in the Bahamas. There will be additional dredging works to facilitate the new long range patrol craft and to provide the Defence Force with first class facilities.

The fleet of vessels includes a dedicated roll-on, roll-off landing craft (a Stan Lander 5612) which will be fitted with a 25 tonne crane and demountable disaster relief equipment. Special containers will be acquired to provide emergency relief, medical facilities, desalinated water and sanitary equipment which will rapidly be deployed in the event of a natural disaster. In addition, eight patrol vessels, four of the Damen Stan Patrol 4207 type and another four type SPa 3007, will join the Bahamas’ fleet.

Damen Coastal and Offshore Patrol Vessels already operate for years in the coastal waters of the USA, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Honduras, Cape Verde and the Netherlands.

The specialised long range patrol craft are designed to operate in the shallow waters of the Bahamas and will help to plug the gaps in the security network while addressing the concern of local fishermen who have been demanding more protection for this vital sector of the economy.

Included in the contract is a mid-life upgrade of the Bahamas Class vessels that entered service in 1999. This upgrade will be undertaken in the Bahamas under Damen’s supervision and will extend the operational lifecycle of these vessels for several years.

The package of vessels, codenamed “Sandy Bottom” comprises:

4 Stan Patrol 4207 for blue water patrolling of the Economic Exclusive Zone and Area of Responsibility of the Bahamas. With a range of over 2000 Nm and a top speed of over 20 knots, the SPa 4207 will have endurance in excess of 10 days of operation. This vessel type is operational around the world, amongst others with the UK Border Agency

4 Stan Patrol 3007 - with its shallow draft this brand new Damen vessel is specifically designed for operations in the coastal waters and shallow banks of the Bahamas.

1 Stan Lander 5612 is intended for logistic supply of the Forward Operating Locations, Gun Point & Matthew Town, and will serve as Disaster Relief Vessel to the Family Islands in case of natural emergencies, such as hurricanes.

A short video is available.

Partnership with Van Oord

Damen has been in business for over 85 years. In that time Damen has not only specialised in vessel design and shipbuilding, but also in the logistical and civil engineering challenges that often surround major new building projects. For the Royal Bahamas Defence Force project the company is partnering with one of the world’s largest dredging companies – Van Oord – to deliver the entire package in the shortest possible time frame, commencing in early 2014. The contract will include a spares and training package and great emphasis will be placed on skills transfer to ensure the vessels can be maintained and operated by Bahamians.

Much of the work to be undertaken by Van Oord will be subcontracted to local partners and will enhance access to Matthew Town in Greater Inagua and Gun Point in Ragged Point. Additional works and marine assets are earmarked in Bimini and Grand Bahamas to ensure the northern zone is also fully protected.

Damen Area Director Americas, Mr Sander van Oord, said: “Damen is a company that prides itself on the quality and performance of the ships we build. We are delighted to welcome the Government of the Bahamas to our family and will strive to deliver this package on time and within budget. These are the hallmarks of Damen that have helped us become market leader in the Caribbean.”

This contract builds on the success Damen has achieved in the Caribbean over the last decade. It follows on from deliveries of similar vessels to the Dutch Caribbean Islands in 1999 and to the Jamaica and Barbados Defence Force some years later. The quality of construction, competitive prices and proven performance continues to attract repeat orders with new construction currently taking place for Venezuela, Mexico, Canada and the United States Coast Guard.

Notably, the Jamaican vessels: HMJS “Cornwall” & “Middlesex” (both delivered 2005) and “Surrey” (2006) contributed to Damen’s growing reputation in the Caribbean. “Middlesex” was showcased in Barbados on the delivery voyage to Jamaica during the 2005 DAMEN Defence & Security Seminar. In 2007 the Government of Barbados contracted Damen for three Stan Patrol 4207 and HMBS “Leonard C. Banfield” and HMBS “Rudyard Lewis” were delivered within 12 months. The new flagship HMBS “Trident” followed in 200.

The close relationship that exists between DAMEN and its clients is just one small part of the long term commitment the company makes to ensure the vessels it builds are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest quality standards. A commitment to these standards guarantees long term reliability and excellent availability to help secure the safety and protection of the people of the Caribbean.



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