12 Dec 2022

Swedish Navy honours tradition in keel laying ceremony

Construction of four customised ice-class harbour tugs for the Swedish Navy

Hans Buitelaar

Construction of customised tugs started at  Albwardy Damen

Swedish Defense materiel organization FMV Director Naval Division Patric Hjorth performed the keel laying ceremony for the series of Stan Tug 1706 ICE vessels at Albwardy Damen. Four customised ice class harbour tugs are under construction for the Swedish Navy to be delivered to Sweden starting in 2023.

A Swedish Crown, a (former) Dutch Rijksdaalder and an Emirates Dirham on a steel plate of the Tug  hull construction.

The ceremony started with three coins placed in a stainless steel plate: a Swedish Crown, a Dutch Rijksdaalder and an Emirates Dirham. This symbolises the co-operation of the three countries in manufacturing the special tugs.  The plate with the coins was then welded by General Hjorth to the hull construction.

From left to right: General Patric Hjorth (Director Naval Division at FMV), Martin Verstraaten (Sales Manager of Damen Shipyards) and Jon Mether (Staff Sergeant of the Swedish Navy).

The four tugs as ordered by FMV are based on the Damen Stan Tug 1606. The Defense organization ordered an extensive range of equipment to be installed on these vessels and had special requirements for operational capabilities. The design of the tugs was there for lengthened to 17 meter. The hull is capable of navigating through ice, as the vessels will also be active in northern harbours along the Swedish coast. They are capable of operating in temperatures as low as twenty degrees below zero Celsius. The wheelhouse is equipped with double glazing and high capacity heating is installed. Navigation lights will be heated to prevent ice and snow blocking the light. Winter days have daylight only for a few hours at northern latitudes. The hulls will be protected by an extra robust coating system to withstand the chafing of ice along the water line.

General Patric Hjorth welds the coin plate to a sheet of metal of the Stan Tug 1706 construction.

General Hjorth memorised the naval tradition of putting coins in a vessel for good luck. “In the days of wooden sailing vessels, ship builders placed a coin on the keel under the mast before it was raised. Today, we like to keep up this tradition to honour and maintain the skills of the seafarers that developed the art of navigation and safely sailing a vessel under all circumstances.”

The staff at Albwardy Damen that will construct the Tugs with the delegates.

“We are happy with the approach of Damen to answer all of our wishes and demands for the arrangement of these vessels,” the director continued. “They have taken the performance fundamentals of a workboat to adapt these into a tailormade vessel that is equipped to military standards.”

FMV ordered the four Stan Tug 1706 with an option for two extra.

On the top image from left to right: Roel Foolen (Project Manager Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld), Leon Fijnekam (Contract Manager Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld), Lars Seistrup (Managing Director Albwardy Damen), Martin Verstraaten (Sales Manager Damen Shipyards), General Patric Hjorth (Director Naval Division at FMV), Lars Bengtsson (Product Manager at FMV), Susanne Nordman (Project Manager at FMV), Marten Ternby (Naval Architect at FMV), Jon Mether (Staff Sergeant Swedish Navy), Petter Ruthblad (Chief Petty Officer Swedish Navy), Hans Frössén (Unit Manager at FMV), Daniel Zachrisson (Naval Architect at FMV), Henrik Persson (Lieutenant Commander Swedish Navy), Marius Ghinea (New Building Director at Albwardy Damen) and Sai Gopinath (Project Manager at Albwardy Damen).