NOVEMBER 29, 2012 — Damen Shipyards Group reports that Serco Group member DMS Maritime Pty Limited has received a contract to support the Royal Australian Navy's submarine fleet with a Rescue Gear Ship 9316. The vessel will be built at a Damen shipyard in Vietnam and is due to be delivered in 2016. Damen has previously built a similar vessel, the SD Victoria, for Serco U.K supporting the Royal Navy, thus the RGS 9316 is based on a proven Damen concept.
The rescue ship is the eleventh Damen vessel DMS Maritime has ordered since 2011: five tugboats (four Azimuth tugs - a Damen ASD Tug 2310, an ASD Tug 2009 and two ASD 2411s) as well as a Stan Tug 1606 for Rockingham, Darwin and Sydney and four water fuel lighters (due for delivery in 2013/14). Four of the five tugs have been delivered. The ASD Tug 2009 will be delivered mid-2013. In addition, a contract for an Escape Gear Ship 8316 Submarine Rescue Vessel was signed in August. That ship will be delivered in 2015.
Based in Sydney, DMS Maritime is part of the international service company Serco, which works with governments worldwide. Under the Fleet Marine Services Contract for the Royal Australian Navy DMS Maritime operates a fleet of around seventy-five vessels on Navy's behalf.
Roland Briene, Damen Regional Sales Director – Asia Pacific, comments: "This really is a remarkable project. After working on this contract for more than three years, we are proud to say that all the vessels so far have been delivered ahead of schedule and in budget to the full satisfaction of the client."
Previously, Damen had worked extensively with Serco in the UK on a 29-vessel order completed in 2010.
"We took the lessons we all learnt onboard for this contract. For instance, rather than having five project managers we have one to make sure all communications are streamlined efficiently," says Mr. Briene. "This is also the first regular contact Damen has had with the Royal Australian Navy and we hope that this positive experience means that the Navy will consider Damen in the future."
"We started talks in 2007," Mr. Briene said, "but ultimately I think DMS Maritime chose Damen because of our ability to have all of the different types of vessels under one form of contract. During the tendering process we were able to get together with our product groups and give a very fast response and support DMS throughout the entire tender process with our project engineers, research and finance people. We could show that we have proven designs and a track record for on time delivery, in budget."
Damen is also responsible for delivering all 11 vessels ordered by DMS to Australia and carrying out the initial training and introduction into service. The services will be carried out by Damen Australia.