RH Marine upgrades systems on the Royal Netherlands Navy amphibious transport vessel Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt

19 May 2022


RH Marine has started with a system upgrade and regular maintenance of the Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt, the amphibious transport ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy. All navigation, communication, and control systems on board will be renewed and all electrical components will be inspected and replaced if necessary.

RH Marine is collaborating with Damen Naval, who is giving the naval vessel a midlife upgrade at its shipyard in Vlissingen, combined with a general overhaul. RH Marine and Damen Naval also collaborated on the construction of Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt of the Royal Netherlands Navy between 2003 and 2007.

State-of-the-art naval vessel with Rhodium technology

RH Marine supplied and installed for Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt its Rhodium Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), which controls and monitors most systems on board. This includes the Alarm Monitoring and Control System, the Propulsion Control System, and the Power Management System. Also the Rhodium Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS), the navigation radar, the digital chart system WECDIS, the Own Ship Data Distribution System (OSDDS), and the emergency power supply (UPS). All these systems are now being renewed according to the latest state-of-the-art. The IPMS and IBMS were assembled in RH Marine’s own workshop in Schiedam. The software automation and communication protocols have been extensively tested for readiness.

Two years of preparatory work

RH Marine has been designing all the new systems for two years now. Work on board started at the beginning of March. In the first months, the old equipment is dismantled and removed. The ship’s cabling is also removed. As part of the maintenance, the current distributors, sensors, and other parts are inspected and replaced if necessary. The operational areas, including the bridge, technical center, and command center will be redesigned. For this, 60 new consoles have been designed in collaboration with TNO. These prefab-built consoles and other equipment are ready to be built into the ship.

Landing vessel and amphibious transport vessel in one

As a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), the most important task of Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt is supporting amphibious operations at the border of land and water. The vessel can bring personnel and goods ashore without a port. In addition, the vessel can serve as a sailing command center for directing large-scale amphibious and maritime operations. Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt is now 15 years old. Hence, it gets a standard upgrade and the main equipment is renewed. At the same time, major maintenance is carried out, which is required after the 15th year of life. “As one of the leading system integrators on the defense market, we develop and install electrical and automation systems for almost all Dutch naval vessels,” says project leader Jos Geerdes of RH Marine.

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