Dutch Ministry of Defense Charters Second RoRo Vessel – Heavy Lift News
17 May 2024

Dutch Ministry of Defense Charters Second RoRo Vessel

The Dutch Ministry of Defense has a second Roll-on Roll-off vessel (RoRo), m.v. Southern Rock, for the next 4 years. This will make it easy to transport military vehicles over long distances. The first voyage for the new vessel is already completed when the ship arrived this week in Dakar with equipment for the multinational African Lion exercise in Dakar.


The Southern Rock in Eemshaven with sister vessels Western Rock and Eastern Rock (photograph courtesy of Hartman Seatrade)


The m.v. Southern Rock is 114m long and has a loading area of 1606m². The deck is reinforced so that even the heaviest vehicles can be loaded, such as armoured howitzers, Boxer armoured vehicles or CV90 combat vehicles.

Defense has had also had the RoRo vessel m.v. New Amsterdam on charter since 2022 on a 10 year charter.


m.v. New Amsterdam Photograph (photograph courtesy of Swedish Orient Line)


By having a second RoRo vessel, the Ministry of Defense can better meet its commitment to quickly deploy certain units. An example of this is the Very High Readiness Join Task Force (VJTF), also known as the flash force.

Until now, Defense has occasionally chartered vessels on short term or voyage charters. However, this is becoming increasingly expensive due to the scarcity on the commercial market. To guarantee the right sea transport capacity, it was decided to charter a second RoRo vessel.

The contract runs for 1 year with an option to extend the charter 3 times by 1 year.

For a fee other NATO countries may also use the m.v. Southern Rock.



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