top of traditional naval warfare tasks, today's navies face growing
challenges in the field of Maritime Security and Humanitarian Aid &
Disaster Relief (HADR). The number of tasks increases while the number
of ships remains the same or even decreases. Fully developed to execute
current tasks and cater for future capabilities, the Damen CROSSOVER
is the ultimate mission modular naval concept. Pivotal to this innovative
solution is the so-called X-Deck - a single, flexible deck to handle,
store, operate and deploy mission equipment, fast RHIBs, as well as
landing craft. As multiple modes of access and handling are provided,
future systems, unknown at present, will be able to be fitted and operated.
of DAMEN modular naval concept.
brand-new Crossover- or 'XO' design is something of a hybrid between
a larger Sigma-class frigate, a Holland Class OPV and a small ENFORCER®
LPD”, says René Hoogenboom, Product Manager of Naval Auxiliaries
& Amphibious Support Ships, at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding.
He explains: "The market wants multi-functionality. Vessels need
to be adequately armed for missions requiring higher levels of force,
but they also need to be equipped for humanitarian and maritime security/safety
missions. The XO can be equipped with the armament of a frigate, but
also has facilities for an on-board mobile hospital. If required, it
can carry landing craft and high-speed inflatable boats, both using
the XO’s 'back door'. "The Crossover can also be dispatched
on lone missions, carrying Special Forces to execute raids on terrorist'
strongholds. Pivotal in the design is the central multi-functional area,
the X-deck, at the stern of the ship. It accommodates launching high-speed
inflatable boats and deploying landing craft, but also facilitates Roll-on
Roll-off (RoRo) and Crane loading of cargo and vehicles through the
its versatility, the XO is like a Swiss Army knife. Being a unique vessel
of its kind, finding comparison in the market is hard. Some designs
launched earlier had their flaws, for example either being far too large
or lacking essential deployment- and access facilities, such as a slipway,
side hatches and davits. These features represent the very core elements
where the Crossover development started from. Hoogenboom: "When
designing the various mission modules and selecting their possible -elements,
such as the unmanned aeroplanes and mine-countermeasure equipment, we
closely examined the systems already tested and available on the market."
Consequently, despite its futuristic appearance, the XO should be free
of any teething troubles.
of DAMEN modular naval concept at DIMDEX 2014, naval defense exhibition
in Doha, Qatar.
the case of these flexible vessels, we were particularly keen to develop
a class that is “multi-functional” without becoming “multi-useless."
This meant carefully balancing all the design- and equipment options
versus the impact on the total ship concept performance.” Basically,
the series provides a platform where space, weight, handling and access
provisions can be scaled to the customers’ needs and thereby gaining
the required flexibility that is needed to “future proof”
to a high level of automation, only a small crew is required, thus limiting
the life-cycle costs.
The vessels in the XO 'family' are relatively small: the XO115 numbers
115 metres in length and displaces 4500 tonnes. The largest XO137 measures
137 metres in length and weighs 5600 tonnes. The Crossover Series is
scheduled for release in 2014.