APRIL 19, 2013 — The Government of the Bahamas has signed a letter of intent with Damen Shipyards Group, headquartered in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. It covers the acquisition of nine vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and construction work for their naval bases plus additional dredging works to accomodate new long range patrol craft.
SPA 3007 patrolcraft
The nine vessels include a Stan Lander 5612 RO/RO landing craft that will be fitted with a 25 tonne crane and demountable disaster relief equipment. The other vessels consist of four Damen Stan Patrol 4207 type and four type SPa 3007 patrol craft.
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 specialized 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.
Stan Lander 5612 will be equipped
for disaster relief
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.
Damen 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.
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 a market leader in the Caribbean."