The Royal Netherlands Navy’s new expeditionary survey boat (ESB), HrMs Hydrograaf (H 8021), has officially entered service. Hydrograaf was designed and built by Damen Shipyards Den Helder (DSDH) under a contract awarded by the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in 2019. Laid down in February 2020 and launched in January 2021, the vessel was delivered to the DMO in May 2021 following the successful completion of sea-acceptance trials. The new expeditionary survey boat was formally handed over to the RNLN by the DMO on 21 November.
The name of the ESB is ‘Hydrograaf’, named after Hr.Ms. Hydrograph. This vessel performed hydrographic work for the Navy between 1910 and 1962. The name also refers to its main job. Hydrograaf is equipped with the most advanced hydrographic, navigation and communication systems. This allows the ship to accurately map waters, harbors and fairways. This can be done quickly, thanks to the well thought-out design and modern sensors. Due to the shallow draft, the vessel can carry out work close to the coast.
The ESB can, with a crew of 4, operate independently for 72 hours, up to 100 nautical miles from the mother ship. These features make the ESB a valuable addition to the 2 large hydrographic survey vessels, Zr.Ms. Snellius and Luymes. In particular when conducting hydrographic surveys in support of military operations. The vessel had to be loaded into the cranes of Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman and Johan de Witt can be lifted for transport. Due to the required dimensions, there was little space for the engines, wheelhouse and accommodation.