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Keel laying tradition honoured

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

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.

The four tugs as ordered by FMV are based on the Damen Stan Tug 1606. The Defense organisation 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 therefore lengthened to 17 metres.

The hulls are capable of navigating through ice, as the vessels will also be active in northern harbours along the Swedish coast. The vessels are capable of operating in temperatures as low as twenty degrees below zero Celsius. The hulls will be protected by an extra robust coating system to withstand the chafing of ice along the water line.

The vessel 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.

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.”

“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 further vessels.

Exhibitor; Damen Shipyards

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