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Imtech Belgium in bid for mine counter measure vessels replacement program.

In March 2018, IMTECH Belgium (part of Cordeel group) and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) joined hands in a Temporary Trade Association in order to participate in the Belgium-Netherlands MCMV replacement program, led by the Belgium Ministry of Defence as agreed in the bi-national MOU from 8th June 2018. Since then a number of companies decided to join this initiative and became MCM partner in the two proposals which were forwarded to the Ministry of Defence on October 2nd 2018.


In close cooperation, Belgium and the Netherlands will jointly replace their identical Mine Counter Measure (MCM) vessels. Belgium is leading the procurement process. The same will apply for the replacement of the Belgian and Dutch M-frigates and here the Netherlands will lead the process. Two important naval projects for both Belgium and the Netherland, as laid down in two MOU’s dated 8th June 2018 signed by both MINDEFs.

This reflects the unique cooperation between the two Navies which started already in 1948. This so-called BENESAM cooperation is an exemplary way of multinational cooperation both within NATO and the EU; a prime example of efficient and effective international cooperation in the Defence and Security arena.

For this Belgium-Netherlands project it makes perfect sense that Belgian and Dutch Companies join hands. Therefore Imtech Belgium and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) have set up a Temporary Trade Association (March 2018) as the potential main contractor to the Belgian MOD.

Since then a number of companies decided to join this initiative as MCM Partner.

Focus will be on the Zeebrugge and Oostende region where we will create a MCM Valley building on the already existing NATO Centre of Excellence Eguermin in Oostende and the Mine countermeasure vessels Operational Sea Training (MOST) Centre in Zeebrugge. This initiative will positively affect the wider West Flanders region and also will establish a strengthening of the Zeebrugge-Antwerp axis with naval supply industry activities in a long lasting innovative project.

MCM education, training and the maintenance for the full life cycle of all the Belgian and Dutch vessels will be executed in this MCM Valley. Thus providing for decades of work and the creation of additional expert MCM knowledge to further support Research & Development and future MCM developments.

Mine Counter Measure Vessels

Mine counter measures (MCM) vessels locate and disarm explosives under water. They also patrol territorial waters, support the national Coast Guard and law enforcement agencies, and search for shipwrecks or lost cargo. MCM Vessels keep our busy sea lanes and harbour entrances safe; a vital condition for the Netherlands’ maritime economy. These vessels are equipped with a range of modern underwater sensors, such as hull mounted sonars, and remotely operated submersible vehicles that can approach and destroy dangerous underwater objects.

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