Netherlands - Rotterdam
Class Landing Platform, Dock (LPD)
Rewritten – October 2001
Batch I: Complete.
Batch II: Planned – likely. The Defense
White Paper 2000, released in late 1999, authorized the
acquisition of a second Rotterdam class landing platform,
dock (LPD). It will probably be ordered in 2002, conduct sea trials
in 2006, and be commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNlN)
Rotterdam Class (LPD)
Operational Requirement: The RNlN has a
requirement for a force of modern LPDs to provide an amphibious lift
and command and control capability for military operations in
support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO)
strategy of collective security, flexible long-range response, and
peacekeeping. A secondary mission area is support for humanitarian
relief operations, such as natural disasters, drought, or
conflict-driven refugee crises. A third potential mission area is
support for deployed mine countermeasures vessels.
Program Background: The Dutch Marine Corps
had been seeking an amphibious platform for its own power projection
purposes since the late 1950s. In the early 1980s, the RNlN
acknowledged the requirement for an amphibious transport capability
and preliminary design work began in 1984. A formal staff
requirement was developed in December 1988.
In 1990, the Spanish Government expressed
interest in a ship similar to the vessel that was under (Rotterdam
class) development by the RNlN. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
was signed between the two countries in June 1992 that set the
foundation for development of a joint design. A joint project office
was set up in Madrid to handle the joint Amphibious Transport Ship (ATS)/LPD
Program, and also the Fleet Replenishment Oiler (AOR) Program that
was already underway (an effort that produced the Amsterdam
class AOR for the RNlN and the Patino for the Spanish Navy).
Project definition began in January 1993 and was
completed in December of the same year. The Dutch Parliament
authorized the beginning of contract negotiations with Royal Schelde
on 30 June 1993 with the intention of ordering one ship. Agreement
was reached between Royal Schelde and the Dutch Government on 01
April 1994, and a contract was signed on 25 April 1994. The first
steel was cut for Rotterdam on 03 April 1995, and the keel
was laid on 25 January 1996. Launch followed in February of 1997,
and Rotterdam was commissioned on 18 April 1998.
In Spain, a parallel initiative resulted in the
construction of Galacia by Empresa Nacional Bazan. Galacia
was commissioned on 30 April 998, and a second unit (Castilla)
is under construction. Galacia and Rotterdam are
near-sisters, with some differences in the propulsion and combat
Program Acquisition Plan: On 25 January 1999,
the Netherlands Ministry of Defense announced a restructuring of the
armed forces that is meant to enhance the military’s capability to
conduct crisis operations. As part of this restructuring, the
Minister of Defense indicated that a second Rotterdam class
LPD would enter service by 2007. The Defense White Paper 2000,
released in late 1999, reiterated that a second unit would be
ordered by 2002, for delivery in 2007. In all likelihood, Royal
Schelde (now part of the Damen Shipyard Group), builder of the first
unit, will be contracted to build the second ship.
The RNlN refers to the Rotterdam class as an Amphibious
Transport Ship (ATS), but the ships clearly fit in the traditional
amphibious ship category of Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD).
The construction schedule for the Rotterdam class is as
25 Jan 96
22 Feb 97
18 Apr 98
Design and Construction Considerations: Rotterdam
was built to merchant ship specifications and Lloyd’s Register
rules, with some military provisions. Information available from
RNlN sources indicates that the second unit of the class will
probably be built along similar lines to Rotterdam. However,
the second unit is expected to be 12 meters (39.3ft) longer, and one
meter (3.2ft) wider to handle the United Kingdom’s Mk X utility
landing craft (LCU). Additionally, the second vessel will will be
configured to embark a 400-strong Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF)
A. Hull and Mechanical: Rotterdam
was built using a pre-assembled modular construction process. The
ship was divided into 20 modules, which were pre-fitted with the
structural elements, equipment, plumbing and wiring. The modular
construction process played a major role in reducing costs and
overall construction time.
Rotterdam employs a combined
diesel-electric propulsion system (it’s Spanish near-sister uses
a direct diesel propulsion system). According to Royal Schelde,
the diesel-electric drive is more efficient, thus reducing
maintenance costs and overall life-cycle costs.
ImTech Marine & Industry (formerly van
Rietschoten & Houwens/CAE) provided the integrated monitor and
control system (IMCS) for Rotterdam, and will likely do the
same for the second unit.
B. Amphibious Lift: Rotterdam can
carry a battalion of marines (611 troops), and thirty main battle
tanks or 90 armored infantry fighting vehicles, disembark the
force onto the beach, and support them for up to ten days. Unit
number two will have similar lift capabilities, and will carry 400
additional troops to man the CJTF headquarters element.
helicopter hangar provides space for four EH 101, Sea King,
Cougar, Apache, or Cobra helicopters. The 56m (183.7 ft) flight
deck has two landing spots for simultaneous handling of two
helicopters. The flight deck in unit two will be strengthened to
accommodate the CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
The well dock, with a water depth of 2.2m (7.2
ft), can take four landing craft utility (LCUs). To equip the Rotterdam,
the RNlN ordered five roll-on/roll-off LCUs from Den Helder-based
Visser Shipyard under a US$12M contract. The LCUs, designated Mk
9, displace 200 tons, and can carry 130 troops, or two Warrior
armored personnel carriers, or three trucks. Another set of LCUs
will be needed to equip the second ship. Unit two will be
approximately one meter (3.2ft) longer to accommodate the UK’s
MK X LCUs, however, the well dock will also be designed shorter to
increase available deck space for vehicles. Two of the four Mk 9
landing craft carried in the well deck of unit one, will be
carried topside on davits in unit two.
Onboard hospital facilities include two fully
equipped operating rooms, ten intensive-care beds, X-ray
facilities, treatment rooms, and an emergency sick bay able to
handle 100 casualties.
C. Combat Systems: The RNlN installed a
command and control system based on the US Joint Maritime Command
Information System (JMCIS), partially to ensure full compatibility
with UK and US Navy amphibious ships. The JMCIS suite in Rotterdam
includes 14 operator consoles, which are integrated with a much
smaller ship-navigation system. The latter includes a Kelvin
Hughes ARPA system to display data from the Thales Nederland SCOUT
low-probability-of-intercept surface search radar. RNlN officers
have said that the JMCIS suite in Rotterdam will allow the
ship to command a small battalion-sized amphibious operation,
including the landing craft and helicopters of several other
ships. In peacekeeping operations, the ship can be positioned
offshore to provide command and control, logistical, and medical
support to a battalion of peacekeepers operating ashore without
The external communications systems in both Rotterdam
and Galacia were provided by Rohde & Schwarz (which
also provided the communications system for the De Zeven
Provincien class destroyers). Rohde & Schwarz will
probably also win the contract for the second unit.
Other combat system equipment includes the
Thales Nederland DA 08 air search radar, a Thales Nederland IRSCAN
infrared search and track system, two Thales Nederland Goalkeeper
30 mm Close-in-Weapon-Systems (CIWS), and four Oerlikon Contraves
Royal Schelde has also launched a family of four
export designs, referred to as the Enforcer Family, which is
based on the Rotterdam class. The Enforcer Family is
described as "cheap and cheerful" versions of the Rotterdam
class, with costs reduced through increased modularity, reduced top
speeds, and increased use of commercial construction standards. Some
versions are also shorter in length, while the propulsion machinery
has been moved from the original amidships position to two hull
sections flanking the well dock. The four Enforcer designs
vary in length from 126.2m (414 ft) to 162.2m (532.2 ft), and in
displacement from 9,180 tons to 14,000 tons. The ship’s complement
would be 124 for all four designs. Enforcer 1 to 3 could
transport 501 troops and Enforcer 4 could embark 613.
Amphibious Transport Ship (ATS)/Landing Platform, Dock (LPD)
Batch I: 1
Batch II: 1
Unit Cost (US$)
Probably Royal Schelde (now Damen Shipyard Group)
Diesel-electric: Two Stork Wartsila 12SW28 diesel
generators (14.6MW) powering two Holec electromotors (16,320
hp/12MW); two shafts; bow thruster (252 hp/185kW).
6,000nm at 12kts.
Guns: Four Oerlikon Contraves 20mm guns.
Close-in-Weapon-System (CIWS): Two Thales Nederland
Goalkeeper 30mm CIWS.
Approximately 600 combat troops, 400 headquarters
personnel, and thirty main battle tanks or 90 armored
personnel carriers. Four LCU Mk IX or six LCVP. Cargo: 1,030
tons of fuel, 900 square meter garage, 400 square meters of
dry provisions, 300 square meters of ammunition.
Combat Management System (CMS): Joint Maritime Command
Information System (JMCIS).
Fire Control: Thales Nederland IRSCAN infrared director.
Air/surface search: Thales Nederland DA 08 (E/F band).
Surface search: Thales Nederland Scout.
Navigation: Kelvin Hughes ARPA x 2.
Electronic Support Measures (ESM)/Electronic
Countermeasures (ECM): Intercept and jammer.
Decoys: Four Mk 36 SRBOC decoy launchers for chaff.
Torpedo decoys: One Northrop Grumman AN/SLQ-25 Nixie.
Four EH 101, Sea King, Cougar, Apache, or Cobra
helicopters. Unit two will be CH-47 Chinook capable.
· Royal Netherlands Navy
- Rear Admiral Peter van der Struis (July 2001)
- Directorate of Naval Materiel (DMKM)
- Admiraliteit, P.O. Box 20702
- NL-2500 ES The Hague
- The Netherlands
- Tel: +31 70 316 2600
- Fax: +31 70 316 2615
- R.B.J. Bongers
- Directorate of Naval Materiel (DMKM) -- Procurement Division
- V.D. Burchlaan 31, P.O. Box 20702
- NL-2500 ES The Hague
- The Netherlands
- Tel: +31 70 316 9111
- Fax: +31 70 316 2281
· Royal Schelde
- R. van de Graaf
- LCF Marketing Manager
- Royal Schelde
- Glacisstraat 165, P.O. Box 16
- 4380 AA Vlissingen
- The Netherlands
- Tel. +31 1184 821 18
- Fax +31 1184 850 10
· Schelde Shipbuilding BV (Damen Shipyard Group)
- Mr. P.E. Denis
- Managing Director
- Schelde Shipbuilding BV
- Glacisstraat 165, PO Box 555
- NL-4380 AN Vlissingen
- The Netherlands
- Tel: + 31 1184 850 00
- Fax: + 31 1184 850 50
· Thales Naval Nederland
- Mr. Sander van der Schoot
- Business Unit Director Radar and Sensors
- Thales Naval Nederland
- Zuidelijke Havenweg 40
- PO Box 42 7550 GD Hengelo
- The Netherlands
- Tel: + 31 0 74 248 8111
- Fax: + + 31 0 74 248 5936
· ImTech Marine and Industry
Mr. Terry F. van Velzen
Director of Marketing and Sales
ImTech Marine and Industry
P.O. Box 5054
3008 AB Rotterdam
Tel: + 31 10 487 1377
Fax: + 31 10 487 1745