Damen Schelde
Naval Shipbuilding

Proud to serve the Royal Netherlands Navy since 1879

  • Damen & The Royal Netherlands Navy

Damen & The Royal Netherlands Navy

The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) has been the launching customer for eight generations of Damen combatants. As a modern navy, it consistently sets new standards for operational demands on Damen’s combatants, amphibious platforms, logistic support ships and oceangoing patrol vessels. This is for a good reason: to protect national interests worldwide and provide safety and security at and from the sea.

Innovation: the key to export

Our vessels are equipped with advanced technologies, often of Dutch design. Thanks to the close cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the RNLN, the Dutch naval shipbuilding industry and maritime research institutes, our ships have not only been used for generations within the RNLN, they have also proven to be an excellent export product. The RNLN brought innovation to Damen and we brought innovation to them and subsequently to other navies all over the world.

Ready to take up our role

In a fast-changing world, we need to equip our navy with modern ships, ready to deal with today’s maritime security challenges. Under these demanding circumstances, the RNLN is to replace a large part of its fleet. In the coming decade, the existing multi-purpose frigates, mine countermeasure vessels and submarines will reach the end of their lifespan. Damen is ready to take up its role in realizing these new ships and boats, and to involve the Dutch naval industry and research institutes. This results in return on investment for the taxpayer and for many other Dutch companies.

  • M-frigates
  • Bi-national Replacement


Multi-purpose frigates, or M-frigates, can counter serious naval threats such as other frigates, aircrafts, missiles and submarines. These powerful warships with adequate weapons and sophisticated sensors are also very effective during missions with a lower threat level as well as against so called asymmetric opponents such as terrorists, pirates or illicit traffickers. By serving these multiple purposes, M-frigates are considered the workhorses of the fleet. The M-frigates are operationally deployed and maintained together with their sister ships of the Belgian Navy.


Bi-national Replacement

The current generation of M-frigates is (besides the Belgian navy) also operated by the Portuguese and Chilean navies. All these M-frigates will reach the end of their lifespan somewhere before 2030. Some of these frigates will undergo a life extension. However, the Netherlands and Belgium plan to jointly develop and procure the successors of the M-frigate for their navies.

  • MCM Vessels
  • Bi-national Replacement
  • Map

MCM Vessels

Mine counter measures (MCM) vessels locate and disarm explosives under water. They also patrol territorial waters, support the national Coast Guard and law enforcement agencies, and search for shipwrecks or lost cargo. MCM Vessels keep our busy sea lanes and harbour entrances safe; a vital condition for the Netherlands’ maritime economy. These vessels are equipped with a range of modern underwater sensors, such as hull mounted sonars, and remotely operated submersible vehicles that can approach and destroy dangerous underwater objects.


Bi-national Replacement

The Netherlands MCM vessels of the Alkmaar class have been successfully operated for about 30 years. These ships have been co-developed with France and Belgium. The Belgian and Netherlands navies operate their fleet of identical MCM vessels jointly. For the next generation MCM vessels, Belgium and the Netherlands plan to continue their close, fruitful collaboration and develop, procure, operate and maintain the new ships together, for both their navies.


In close cooperation, Belgium and the Netherlands will jointly replace their identical Mine Counter Measure (MCM) vessels. Belgium is leading the procurement process. The same will apply for the replacement of the Belgian and Dutch M-frigates and here the Netherlands will lead the process. Two important naval projects for both Belgium and the Netherland, s as laid down in two MOU’s dated 8th June 2018 signed by both MINDEFs.
This reflects the unique cooperation between the two Navies which started already in 1948. This so-called BENESAM cooperation is an exemplary way of multinational cooperation both within NATO and the EU; a prime example of efficient and effective international cooperation in the Defence and Security arena.


For this Belgium-Netherlands project it makes perfect sense that Belgian and Dutch Companies join hands. Therefore Imtech Belgium and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) have set up a Temporary Trade Association (March 2018) as the potential main contractor to the Belgian MOD.
Since then a number of companies decided to join this initiative as MCM Partner.
Focus will be on the Zeebrugge and Oostende region where we will create a MCM Valley building on the already existing NATO Centre of Excellence Eguermin in Oostende and the Mine countermeasure vessels Operational Sea Training (MOST) Centre in Zeebrugge. This initiative will positively affect the wider West Flanders region and also will establish a strengthening of the Zeebrugge-Antwerp axis with naval supply industry activities in a long lasting innovative project.


MCM education, training and the maintenance for the full life cycle of all the Belgian and Dutch vessels will be executed in this MCM Valley. Thus providing for decades of work and the creation of additional expert MCM knowledge to further support Research & Development and future MCM developments.


In March 2018, IMTECH Belgium (part of Cordeel group) and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) joined hands in a Temporary Trade Association in order to participate in the Belgium-Netherlands MCMV replacement program, led by the Belgium Ministry of Defence as agreed in the bi-national MOU from 8th June 2018. Since then a number of companies decided to join this initiative and became MCM partner in the two proposals which were forwarded to the Ministry of Defence on October 2nd 2018.

  • Walrus-Class Submarine
  • Dutch-Swedish cooperation
  • Unique balanced collaboration

Walrus-Class Submarine

The RNLN is the proud owner of four Walrus-class diesel-electric submarines. These domestic built submarines are unique in their performance. They are ‘expeditionary’ which means that they are able to carry out missions far from home, long lasting, autonomous and independent. The Walrus-class submarines are well dimensioned for a long endurance, but quite small by comparison to e.g. nuclear submarines; this also makes them suitable for operations in coastal, shallow waters. They are internationally considered one of the best in its class.


Dutch-Swedish cooperation

In the coming years, the Walrus-class submarines will reach the end of their lifetime and replacement is expected. Damen has teamed up with Saab Kockums to be ready for this replacement programme. The team foresees a unique and substantial role for national research institutes and the Dutch naval industry; not only for the newbuild, but also for decades of maintenance and lifecycle support. Together, Damen and Saab Kockums represent centuries of naval engineering experience and have delivered hundreds of naval vessels and submarines. This truly international cooperation will lead to a submarine with Dutch DNA, fully tailored to the requirements of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and the RNLN.

Unique balanced collaboration

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Latest news

As in earlier submarine maintenance and modernization projects, this initiative will generate many high-quality jobs for skilled Dutch workers.

Unique balanced collaboration leads to replacement Walrus class

The Belgian and Netherlands Navy are, already for decades, cooperating in the field of maintenance, operations and education (BENESAM).

Belgo-Dutch Cooperation in MCMV replacement


Groundbreaking Dutch Submarine Innovation

November 27/28 the Berlin Security Summit with more than 1000 attendees focused on EU military and security cooperation

What the Netherlands Naval Cluster can mean for Europe and EU Defence Cooperation

Damen is very proud and honored to be part of this great cooperation

Proud to be part of naval cooperation

Walrus-class submarines

KPN reinforces Swedish-Netherlands cooperation

Latest news

10.000th towing tank model, Combat Support Ship Zr. Ms. Den Helder

Dutch State Secretaries reveal future Navy vessel at the MARIN research institute

Sea trials commence of upgraded Gotland submarine

HSwMS Gotland starts sea trials at Saab shipyard in Karlskrona

Zr. Ms. Holland

Patrol vessels of the Royal Netherlands Navy are back in operation

Sail Training Clippers

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding announced as one of the Fan sponsors of SAIL Amsterdam 2020

Product and proposal department Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

DSNS successfully accomplishes two major deadlines

Australian icebreaker

Damen performs float-out of Australian icebreaker

Latest news

POLA entering drydock

Major milestone reached for POLA project

Commodore Peter Knipping (Director DMI, RNLN) and Jean Paul Claassen (Director Products and Proposals DSNS)

DSNS and DMI sign Letters of Intent on joint development and innovation topics Data Science and Extended Reality for Naval Vessels

POLA for Mexican Navy

Mexican Navy and Damen cooperating in most technologically advanced naval ship in Latin America

Relaunch of the Gotland

HSwMS Gotland Relaunched After Mid-Life Upgrade


WASUB VIII Christened On Behalf of Damen

NIDV Magazine

Can we still build submarines in the Netherlands? Yes.

Latest news

Minister Bijleveld

Belgium and the Netherlands empower the purchase of naval vessels

Canadian Defence exhibition CANSEC

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) supported Alion during the Canadian Defence exhibition CANSEC, May 30- 31 in Ottawa

Expeditionary Subsea

Saab-Damen presents design of the replacement Walrus-class submarine

VNO NCW Сonference

Support of Dutch industry is indispensable for Ministry of Defence

ASRV Nuyina


Dutch Walrus

Modernisation of the Dutch Walrus-class submarine, performed by DMI in combination with the Dutch Naval Industry

Latest news

NML logo

New Defense white paper: great maritime interest to build new naval vessel in the Netherlands

Karel Doorman

Defense white paper is music to the ears of Damen. Orders may provide the area of Vlissingen with many new jobs.


Ministry of Defense makes good progress with Defense white paper


Defense white paper: Dutch industry is ready for orders for the armed forces

Dutch Underwater Knowledge Centre DUKC

Dutch knowledge for the Walrus replacement project

7 reasons why Saab A26

7 reasons for the technological basis of the Walrus class replacement: Saab’s A26 submarine

Latest news


WASUB is able to build upon the knowledge and experience of Damen

Fishery Research Vessel 7417 Baia Farta

Damen launches cutting-edge Fishery Research Vessel for Angolan Fisheries Ministry

Saab & Damen together at symposium

Nominee Ship of the Year 2017 – Guided weapon frigate ‘KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata’ (KRI REM)

Nominee Maritime Award – Abstract Volume Estimation Tool

Nominee Maritime Award – Propulsion of submarines

Latest news

Nominee Maritime Award – Reuse of residual heat

Delft University of Technology and DSNS collaborate successfully in design challenge about submarines

Nominee Maritime Award – Target Motion Analysis

Submarine seminar proves Swedish quality

Important step for Damen Antarctic Supply Research Vessel

Unique achievements Dutch submarines revealed

Latest news

Veterans exhibition opened at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Damen present at Sail Den Helder and the Navy days

Damen and DUKC present themselves at UDT Conference in Bremen

Damen supports call for Dutch naval sector investment

Nevesbu Submarine Academy certificates for DSNS engineers

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