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HMNLS Karel Doorman Joint Support Ship (JSS)

The Karel Doorman Joint Support Ship fulfills the operational requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy for a robust multifunctional platform. It is especially designed for maritime support, strategic sealift and sea basing missions. It has flexible mission modules to support worldwide maritime operations. The JSS "Karel Doorman" has been designed for the Royal Netherlands Navy to operate both in the lower and higher levels of the force spectrum. The main mission of the JSS will be strategic transport, Replenishment at Sea of other ships and sea basing.

On 7 June 2011, at the Damen yard in Galatz, the keel was laid down for the Joint Support Ship (JSS). The ceremony was performed by Rear Admiral K. Visser of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Further construction of the vessel will largely take place at Damen Shipyard Galatz, supervised by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) whereas the, final systems outfitting, commissioning and testing of the vessel and all of her systems will take place at DSNS in Vlissingen.

The Joint Support Ship will be handed over to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 2014. The 27,800 ton vessel is expected to be fully operational in 2015. The new logistic support ship 'Karel Doorman', also called a Joint Support Ship (JSS), will replace the supply ship 'Hr. Ms. Zuiderkruis' which dates from 1975.

The Joint Logistic Support Ship measures 205 meters in length and 30 meters in breadth. Total displacement is 28.000 tonnes, speed 18 knots. The vessel accommodates 175-180 crew and up to 120-125 non-listed persons, such as helicopter crew and medical teams. Further large areas for evacuees can be arranged. For the support of operations a fully equipped role 3 hospital shall be installed.

The JSS has 2000 lane meters for transport of materiel, a helicopter deck with landing spots for operating two Chinooks simultaneously, and a hangar with a storage capacity of up to 6 helicopters. For maritime support the ship has the holding capacity of approx 8000 m3 of fuel, more than 1000 m3 of heli fuel, approx 450 m3 of potable water and approx 400 tonnes of ammunition.

The JSS has the facilities for loading and unloading operations of materiel and goods in harbors, near the shore or at open or at sea : two Replenishment-At-Sea masts, an elevator and crane for up to 40 tons, a roll on/roll off facility for vehicles, and a steel beach stern construction for accommodating cargo transfer via landing craft.

For self defence purposes the weapon suit consists of two Goalkeepers, two 30 mm automatic guns, and four automatic medium caliber gun systems. In order to reduce the vulnerability, the vessel will be outfitted with signature reduction measures, ballistic protection, blast resistant constructions, redundant-, shock resistant-, and decentralized systems, a gas citadel and extensive fire fighting systems.

The manning requirement is low as the the vessel is designed with a layout optimized for day-to-day operations and the automation level for this vessel is high. It includes a calamity system, a warning system, an overview system and extensive subsystem automation. Also the communication and networks are state of the art, tailored to operate in a joint network environment.

On 30 March 2010 the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organization and Thales Nederland signed a contract for the delivery and installation of an Integrated Mast that is to be installed on the Joint Logistic Support Ship (JSS). This ship is presently being designed and engineered by Damen Schelde Shipyard in Flushing. This Integrated Mast is an I-Mast 400, identical to the Integrated Masts that are to be installed on the four Patrol Ships, also for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The I-Mast 400 for the JSS will be built by the Royal Netherlands Navy in Den Helder, the subsystems will be built in and tested at the Thales plant in Hengelo and delivered to the Damen Schelde Shipyard in January 2014.

The integrated mast is a complete other design approach in comparison with the traditional sensor layout on board of naval vessels. One central mast structure houses most radar, optronic, and communication sensors and antennas as well as all cabinets and peripherals. The advantages of this revolutionary sensor concept are huge: better operational performance, higher operational availability, reduced ship-building time, reduced maintenance requirements and enormous savings in below-deck space.

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