The M-frigates Bartolomeu Dias and Francisco de Almeida, are currently being modernised in Den Helder by the Defensie Materieel Organisatie (DMO) and the Directie Maritieme Instandhouding (DMI) of the Commando Zee Strijd Krachten (CZSK).
Systems integrator Alewijnse was contracted in 2019 for the design, construction, assembly and commissioning of the multi-function consoles (MFCs), the auxiliary control units of the command centres (CoCe) and completely new Radio Room Consoles (RRC).
“The new MFCs replace the General Operating Stations (GOS) in the command centres (CoCe), the operational heart of the ships”, explains Alewijnse project manager Perry Eikelenboom.
“There, all sensor data is presented, analysed and, among other things, the decision can be taken to switch to weapons deployment. The new MFCs are more versatile and user-friendly than the old GOS, which greatly increases the effectiveness of the operators. With a view to redundancy, the basic design of the MFCs is kept as uniform as possible, so that an operator can easily change to another console in the event of a malfunction,” said Eikelenboom.
Alewijnse carried out a full range of assessments before officially delivering the consoles to the Bartolomeu Dias. These included intensive simulations to measure shock and heat resistance and various test runs during the site acceptance tests. The refit works took place at the RNLN shipyard in Den Helder after which Alewijnse undertook the installation, commissioning and acceptance tests.
“Our consoles are built at Alewijnse’s own production locations in the Netherlands. This offers our customers many advantages, including competitive prices, short logistical lines and flexibility. Our switchboards and consoles are built with superior components and enclosures from western European suppliers, thus ensuring high quality end products. In this way Alewijnse makes a valuable contribution to all the projects in which it is involved,” added Eikelenboom.
Alewijnse and the RNLN have worked together successfully for many years on various naval vessels, including the support vessel Zr. Ms. Pelikaan (A804), Joint Support Ship (JSS) HNLMS Karel Doorman, the four Holland-Class Oceangoing Patrol Vessels and the amphibious transport ships HNLMS Johan de Witt and HNLMS Rotterdam.
The delivery of new consoles for Bartolomeu Dias’ sister ship, Francisco de Almeida (F334), is scheduled to be completed this summer.