Development of Fire Fighting & Damage Control automation that enables future crew reduction


  • Rinze Geertsma
  • Nine Badon Ghijben
  • Erik Middeldorp
  • Robin de Ruiter



Battle Damage Repair, Damage Surveillance & Control (DSAC), Fire Fighting & Damage Control (FFDC)


The Holland-class Patrol Vessels of the Royal Netherlands Navy has been designed to conduct world-wide operations with a low level of violence. Minimization of the exploitation costs has been translated in a frigate size vessel design to be manned by a crew of 50. In particular, the support of Battle Damage Repair required serious development as today’s solutions are based upon having a much larger crew. Adoption of modern fire-fighting techniques such as ship-wide deployment of automated water-mist systems and extensive use of center-fed hose reels appeared to be essential steps to cope with lower manning levels. However, that is not enough as there are other internal battle aspects that (today) require significant manpower such as information gathering to obtain the desired situational awareness of the current state of the damage, and complex engineering tasks to mitigate the damages and the management of the necessary resources. For this reason, this paper discusses the approach and development of four (4) platform management system Damage Surveillance and Control (DSAC) applications as an example how future internal battles can be supported to achieve a higher quality (less human errors) of battle damage control, by means of a better situational awareness and a significant reduction of the workload during Battle Damage Repair.


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Author Biographies

Rinze Geertsma

Responsible for engineering advice on the new Platform Management System of Joint Support Ship (JSS)

Nine Badon Ghijben

Senior system engineer platform automation and integration in the Defence Materiel Organization

Erik Middeldorp

Senior Automation Architect within the Automation Competence Centre of Imtech Marine & Offshore and is responsible for Platform Systems Solutions such as IPMS and FFDC

Robin de Ruiter

Is working for Imtech as naval sales manager. He was, amongst others, responsible proposal manager for the upgrade of the IPMS for the M-Class frigates and investigated ‘Task Oriented Design of Integrated Platform Management Systems’, together with the RNLN and Marine Technik Germany GmbH


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S.C. HORENBERG and A.C.F. MELAET, ‘Uniting Weapon- and Marine knowledge –From goal to reality’, proceedings Engine As A Weapon 2013.

R.D. GEERTSMA, J.C. SCHREURS, D.J.M MEIJER and E.J. MIDDELDORP, ‘Integration of combat & platform management: developments in the Royal Netherlands Navy’, proceedings Engine As A Weapon 2013.

W. VAN DER ZWAN, ‘Task oriented design of Integrated Platform Management Systems’, 14th International Ship Control Systems Symposium (SCSS) in Ottawa, Canada, 2009

J. RASMUSSEN, ‘Information processing and human machine interaction: an approach to cognitive engineering’, 1986. ISBN 9780444009876.

NETHERLANDS’ MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, ‘Diagnostic Support Guideline for new ship programs’ directive, undisclosed.

DIN EN ISO 13407, ‘Human centred design processes for interactive systems’, 1999. Remark: superseded by ISO 9241-210.

K.S. VAN BODEGRAVEN, ‘Intelligent Control Systems for Navy Ships’, 2010.




How to Cite

Geertsma, R., Badon Ghijben, N., Middeldorp, E., & Ruiter, R. de. (2015). Development of Fire Fighting & Damage Control automation that enables future crew reduction. Ciencia Y tecnología De Buques, 8(17), 69–85.



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