Dutch company Damen, one of the three tenderers for the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessels project, is confident key components of its design will appeal to the government, including its axe-bow.
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Defence Connect spoke with Damen representative Mark Todd about the company's bid, with Todd making note of the company's standardisation process and the axe-bow design as its key strengths.
"The Axe-Bow is designed to cut through the waves, not bounce across the top of them," Todd began.
"It is ideally suited for those longer transits providing much improved sea-keeping while placing much less stress on the hull and machinery than traditional hull forms."
The Axe Bow is exclusively patented by Damen and was a result of cooperation between Damen and Dutch unviersity Delft University of Technology, MARIN and the US Coast Guard.
Since the creation of the Axe Bow concept, Damen has developed the Sea Axe Patrol Vessels and Fast Crew Suppliers.
The Dutch company said while it was initially developed to improve vessel operating profile and crew safety and comfort, the Sea Axe concept is also proving its worth when it comes to sustainability. The vessels exhibit superior motion behaviour and significantly lower resistance through the water. This leads to a cut in fuel usage of 20% and, consequently, lower emissions.
"So from a design perspective, with the Damen hull form we will see a real step-up in patrol performance as it is ideally suited to assist the Navy do their job in the standard patrols that they conduct." Todd said
Damen has teamed with ASC Forgacs Shipbuilding for the OPV tender, a joint venture established to build the initial two ships in South Australia and further 10 in Western Australia. The company is also planning to further expand its presence in Australia from its current office in Brisbane, to three, with offices in Adelaide and Perth.
German companies Fassmer and Lürssen are also tendering for the project.