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NIDV Mountains of work yet to be done NEDS: unique for the entire Benelux Less NATO, more Europe


Introduction

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The field of security and defence has not been more dynamic in the past few decades than it is today: a defence budget with increased scope, a Defence Industry Strategy committed to a more prominent role for Dutch industry and a European Defence Fund that is taking concrete form. With all the developments, it’s not surprising really. “The types of threats we are facing are increasing,” emphasises the scientific director of TNO Defence, Safety & Security, Hendrik-Jan van Veen, further on in this publication. Modern technology and artificial intelligence play a significant role. In the digital world, cyber threats and cybercrime have increased. Geopolitics play a dynamic role. Influenced by the retreating American movement and Brexit, Europe is looking for a new, more autonomous position. Various countries are openly discussing the advent of a European army, traditionally a controversial issue. These developments give cause to the Insights’ editorial team to examine this sector in more detail. You can read the results in this informative publication, which provides insight into a rapidly changing market.

Contents 2 NIDV

Mountains of work yet to be done

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NEDS: unique for the entire Benelux

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Less NATO, more Europe

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Verebus Engineering Easily keep all documentation up to date with S1000D

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Cyber Security Assessment Disruption of society threatens

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The IP Company Leads the way with an innovative system

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NIDV Increasing collaboration


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Faes Cases Added value with besproke products and knowledge

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NIDV Moving towards collaboration

Hospitainer There are opportunities all around the world

Heinen & Hopman Leading specialist and global supplier of maritime HVAC Systems RH Marine Ships are becoming increasingly more intelligent

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NIDV The Dutch naval construction cluster stands tall

Increasing threats

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Capgemini Promising start of military-civilian pilot project

TSS International Armour Mobility

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NIDV: capacity of the armed forces further strengthened

Mountains of work yet to be done Ten years after the focus on themes such as security and defence had virtually dropped to zero, international develop­ ments have driven a shift in thoughts and actions, and this shift is becoming increasingly visible. “That’s good news,” says NIDV director Ron Nulkes, “but there are mountains of work yet to be done.”

International terrorism. Cyberterrorism. An unpredictable American president. Complex geopolitical relations with countries such as China, Russia and Iran. The migration drama in the Mediterranean. In the context of defence and security, ‘far away’ has become a relative concept. This is continually increasing pressure on security and defence budgets. The end is not yet in sight. “The government must recognise the consequences,” says Ron Nulkes. “The capacity of the police and armed forces must be strengthened further. At NIDV,

we have emphasised the need for further expansion for many years, also with the knowledge that it takes time before we as a society will reap the benefits. You cannot solve a shortage of people instantly with a bag full of money. You have to recruit and train people first. It also takes time to develop and acquire resources. But it is important that we act, and thankfully, we see that happening.” An era The publication of the Dutch Defence White Paper in early 2018 (including a long list of ‘requirements’ attached as an appendix) and the Defence Industry Strategy (DIS) later that year (presented by the Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld during the NIDV symposium) ended an era of disenchantment with defence and security. The time has come for government to press ahead, because there is still plenty that needs to be done, says Nulkes.

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“The projects announced at that time are now being rolled out, and it is indisputable that the Ministry of Defence and now also the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy have shifted their focus to Dutch industry. Our industry is of course happy with that, but we see it as just the first step. What’s happening at the moment is good, but it’s still not enough.”

F35s and drones, more money for cyber technology, robotisation in the Army and the replacement of the Navy’s M-class frigates and submarines. We are convinced the opportunities are there and ask the government to follow that route, too. Over the past ten to twenty years, Dutch industry has faced a defence system that has been given ever-decreasing amounts of money to spend. Now that there is more money available, it would be good to implement the projects in the Netherlands.” The industry, however, isn’t going to put all its eggs in one basket. The European Defence Fund that has been a topic of discussion for years is ‘almost in place’ according to Nulkes. A

He continues to say that the additional money promised is ‘still insufficient’ to fulfil all the needs in the field of defence and security. “At the start of this year, ministers presented the Dutch National Plan for NATO, with a list of essential investments. In the plan, the government demonstrates how they are moving towards the NATO standard of two per cent of the GNP. Unfortunately, the 2020 budget does not have the scope to cover all the investments listed. In fact, despite the current growth in the euro budget, we are at risk of drifting further away from that standard. We have therefore asked the government to strategically consider how we can get to that two per cent in a sustainable manner.”

Ron Nulkens

Reinforcement The NIDV itself has more than enough ideas. Nulkes says, “We are convinced that the 2018 Defence White Paper and the DIS provide good direction: reinforcement of the operational capacity on land, sea and in the air, increased investment in

Top sector policy: the missions The eight missions defined as part of the main theme of Security in the context of Top Sector Policy are:

novelty, he emphasises, “The EU has never before had a sevenyear plan in which Defence plays such a prominent role. We now have a programme for reinforcing European military capacity, which is linked to a budget of 13 billion euros - if the new European Commission approves that decision. If any of the EU countries has a specific requirement, the industry can form a consortium and submit a tender. The condition is that at least three com­panies from three countries must be involved.”

1. Society - to make organised crime less lucrative. 2. Maritime high-tech - for safe seas. 3. Space - for security in space and from space. 4. Cyber - to increase security in the digital domain. 5. Networked action on land and from the air - to gain a military advantage during operations using various sensors and players through information sharing and cooperation.

Active Two pilot programmes with a research and development budget of 600 million euros are currently underway. “NIDV is incredibly focused on this. We are very actively involved, and further, we have an extremely good partnership with the Ministries of Defence and Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The special envoy on European Defence Cooperation, the retired general Tom Middendorp is also playing an important role in this. We are now planting seeds for the entire industrial sector and

6. Adaptive armed forces - innovating faster together. 7. D  ata and intelligence - to provide security services with adequate data and analyses. 8. The security professional - whose performance is increased through good education and modern (training) technologies.

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knowledge institutions in the Netherlands, providing input on plans and at the same time encouraging companies.” Within the European context, Nulkes calls the Netherlands promising. “Our industry works at a high level in the area of knowledge and technology. Preparations are being made through pilot programmes for what is to come in the near future. This includes large Dutch companies, as well as many SMEs. It is the latter category in particular that we are helping to navigate through the complexity of European regulations, starting with the Ministry of Defence’s maze of rules.” Balance In the Netherlands, the NIDV is also actively looking for engineers who can later advise the European Commission on the proposals submitted by the various consortia. “We found out by pure chance that the Southern European countries, in particular, were strongly represented in the assessment committees. When we discovered that, we took action. Almost no other market is as politicised as the defence market. This will inevitably be reflected when the programmes are evaluated. Here too, it is also crucial to find a good balance.” According to Nulkes, the steps have been taken to embed the themes of defence and security into the existing policy in top sectors are positive. However, it will not become the tenth top sector, but rather one of the four main themes that connect the existing top sectors or a portion of these. Nulkes, “One of the themes, for instance, is security. In addition, eight different missions have been formulated (see text box, ed.), and they are being further developed within the policy on top sectors. This opens up important new opportunities for our participants. At the same time, we have started a programme to increase our participants’ level of knowledge, in particular on cyber resilience. Nowadays, this is a crucial part of doing business with the police and armed forces.” Export permits Nulkes does have concerns about the issuing of export permits for strategic goods. “It goes without saying that our industry must also be compliant in that

regard. However, the Netherlands is much stricter in that aspect than other European countries. This means that some of our companies miss out on revenue. They are unable to export military equipment to a number of countries that other European countries can export to, even if this concerns backorders. This is disastrous for companies’ reputations. In this market, reliability is a key factor. However, due to the policy that is being pursued, they seem unreliable.”

“There is a lot of work to do. Our industry is of course happy with that, but we see it as just the first step” He believes it’s high time for the harmonisation of European rules on this point. “Although there is currently a common position, countries can interpret and develop this as they see fit. This results in deviations from the rules. The rules need to be unambiguous. The Netherlands is currently more restrictive and pays the price for that. I don’t get involved in the issue of whether the Netherlands has set the bar too high. What does matter to us is that the rules are harmonised and that they are consistent everywhere. Companies here in the Netherlands hit a brick wall, while competitors in other countries get the green light. This isn’t right.” Nevertheless, he remains optimistic. “The NIDV is growing, and we are working hard on increasing our participants’ knowledge, including through the use of masterclasses. These enable industry workers to learn about the branches of the armed forces and about how the Ministry of Defence issues tenders. It’s good that their clients are aware of and know their position in the market. That will ensure they are prepared for the opportunities that are on the horizon.”

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“Defence and security are extremely relevant”

NEDS: unique for the entire Benelux Ron Nulkens

NEDS, otherwise known as the NIDV Exhibition Defence & Security, is a unique event that has become well known in defence and security circles. “There is no other symposium anywhere in the Benelux where the armed forces and other public security services present themselves alongside industry,” says NIDV director Ron Nulkes.

The annual NIDV symposium saw the light of day at the end of the 1980s, under the watchful eye of one of Ron Nulkes’ predecessors. “It was small scale at the time, but it didn’t take long to realise that the event met a certain need. That is still the case. The trade fair attracts a lot of attention each and every year.” It is also generating increasing interest from the other Benelux countries. It is more or less a given that each year there are 100 stands and about 2,500 participants. There is always a relevant theme. “Last year, Minister Ank Bijleveld presented the new Defence Industry

Strategy (DIS, ed.) at our trade fair in the presence of none other than King Willem-Alexander,” added Nulkes. ”This speaks volumes about the status of NEDS and how its image has grown over the years.” Shift Each year the symposium forms the backdrop against which politicians, the military, representatives from public security services and captains of industry meet. “It’s a widely anticipated event,” says Nulkes. “The themes are becoming increasingly relevant, and moreover, defence and security are also extremely topical.” Industry and the armed forces are growing closer together, as indeed is the case of the three national security services, the fire service, police and the armed forces. “Nationally, they are crying out for more collaboration. We are gradually seeing that happen in daily practice. There are already ties between the police and the armed forces. In a European context, the emphasis is better integrating the armed forces, because we are faced with dangers and issues that require this. On this point too, we see more developments and barriers coming down. Integration and integrated security are highly relevant themes.” Indispensable “The Dutch security industry, including the knowledge institutes, also makes an undeniable contribution to that collaboration,” says Nulkes. “Our companies, from large OEMs and SMEs to start-ups and family businesses, are all indispensable links in the chain. Our collaboration in the field of public safety, the Golden Triangle of government, industry and knowledge institutions, is internationally acclaimed. This is with good reason. Collaborating on collective security brings out the best in us.”

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Integrated defence policy is quickly expanding

Less NATO, more Europe The formation of a European army seems less and less like a utopia than it has been for many years. Although there is currently no broad consensus, the contours of an integrated European defence and security policy are quickly expanding. The Netherlands is not enthusiastic about a European army. It may not have a choice however.

For many years, it has been the ultimate political horror: the idea that other European countries decide about the deployment of the Dutch military in missions in hotspots elsewhere in the world. It touches on deeply felt ideas of sovereignty and that perspective alone has made it a taboo for decades. Nevertheless, the theme of a European army has been making waves, also in the Netherlands. For example, in April, D66 MP Salima Belhaj introduced an ‘initiative bill’ for the formation of a European army.

Strengthen Parliament’s signature under the EDF followed two decades during which European collaboration was steadily becoming more intensive due to growing international threats (terrorism, geopolitics, cyber threats). That development was further reinforced by the United States’ increasing focus on the Pacific and the Far East. This process that started under Bush and Obama became even more apparent in the first years of the Trump regime. The changing sentiment towards NATO and the diminishing influence of the British in the EU after the Brexit referendum also played a role. The United Kingdom is, alongside the Netherlands, traditionally more NATO than EU oriented, even though at the end of the last century it stood with the French at the foundation of military cooperation on a European level. However, a European army has long been a step too far for the British. “The same applies to the Netherlands,” according to Trineke Palm, a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University and an expert in this field. “The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have contributed to EU military operations over the past 15 years but, certainly in the case of the Netherlands, they have historically preferred command structures and collaborations to run via NATO. The British had the same view. It was not that the EU was a ‘no go’, but simply that NATO was the preferred institutional body.”

The democrats in the Netherlands may still be a scream in the wilderness, but in Europe they are anything but alone. Germany and France have been moving towards a European army for some time. Germany is doing that in an EU framework, and France is working beyond the contours of the EU with the European Intervention Initiative. In any case, the line is clear: more Europe, less NATO. For instance, 3 July 2018 is also a significant date. That was the date on which the European Parliament for the first time cleared the way for spending money on defence in an EU framework with the approval of the plans for the European Defence Fund (EDF). The fund, that will potentially be 13 billion euros up to 2027, was established to support joint developments of military equipment and technology by European industry.

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Within Europe, it also provided a long-term balance in the relations with large and influential countries such as Germany and France. This has shifted, in part due to Brexit. Yet, according to the researcher, there are many more movements driving the desire for a strong and autonomous European defence. Take Russia, for example, that is causing unrest on the continent’s eastern border. Or Trump, who doesn’t appear to see the added value of the old alliances. “The differences in security priorities between the US and Europe have become even clearer under his

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presidency. The interests will stray even further apart under his successors. I think we would be well advised to prepare for that, because ultimately, it’s about our security.”

“It would be wise for the Netherlands to broaden its focus beyond NATO”

Complementary “The international perspective has changed,” says Palm, “and it would be wise for the Netherlands to broaden its focus beyond NATO. Not on the basis of differences, but of reinforcement. The Common Security and Defence Policies of NATO and the EU could complement each other exceptionally well. The idea of a European army or the further integration of the European defence policy is too often tainted with the image of being merely a countermovement. This is unjustified.” The researcher calls the discussion about the formation of a European army ‘exciting’ and ‘extremely relevant’. She believes that the EDF and the PESCO collaboration are good indicators in that regard. “We already have an EU defence commissioner, which was once unthinkable. On the one hand, it does cause some concern. Will it be market logic that soon determines the field of security? On the other hand, it could provide an allimportant playing field, which Dutch industry really needs, for example.”

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Contemplation From a historic perspective, we have seen that if Europe takes steps towards a broader integration process, there is generally only one route, and that is straight ahead, according to Palm. As far as the Netherlands is concerned, it should ‘think carefully’. The US in retreat, the consequences of that for NATO and increasing international threats are crying out for collaboration. You may still be able to tackle a theme such as cybersecurity yourself, but with traditional geopolitical threats you really do need partners.” Building on existing collaborations is the best way to go, she says, “Ultimately, you don’t have to assemble a large army of 28 countries. But it’s not such a crazy idea to form permanent stand-by units within an EU framework, aside from all the safeguards that need to be put in place. Perception is also important. If you approach such an integration process as if anticipating an international threat, then it is already a lot less politically charged than the idea of a European armed force. Yet, substantially, there is little difference between the two. In their core, they are essentially about the same thing: the safety of Europe and its inhabitants.”


Verebus Engineering

Easily keep all documentation up to date with S1000D Over the past few years, the S1000D standard has become increasingly popular around the world. S1000D is an inter­ national specification for preparing, managing, and using maintenance and operational information. The Dutch Ministry of Defence is gradually using S1000D as well. Verebus provi­ des advice in this area and has the tools that can be used to record information in S1000D.

Hans Mulder is one of the employees at Verebus you should call when you need advice concerning S1000D. Hans worked in the Navy for thirty-five years, gaining extensive experience in Asset Management. Hans now works in a versatile team as an ILS business consultant on S1000D projects at Verebus. “The importance of correct documentation is increasing due to the growing focus on personal safety. The S1000D is an integral part of the ILS approach and is part of the Sx000i standards. These ILS standards are adopted internationally by the Ministry of Defence. The first international tenders for the Netherlands have already been documented according to S1000D; take the BOXER, for instance.”

Hans Mulder

list of maintenance tasks and spare parts, can be imported directly into the DM. When a system changes, the LSAR is changed and the change within the Data Modules (and therefore, also the IETP) can be processed automatically.”

S1000D is a set of rules for creating electronic documentation, such as Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals or Publications (IETM or IETP). “These rules are a set of agreements for the structure and codification of the data,” explains Hans. “An IETP consists of Data Modules (DM), which contain descriptions or instructions in the form of text, (interactive) illustrations, or tables. These DM can be used in several types of publications, such as a user manual, a maintenance manual, or for instance within documentation sets of different systems with identical components. This (singlesource) documentation is easier to maintain. An S1000D database is linked to a Logistics Support Analysis Record (LSAR), from which information, such as a

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Verebus provides ILS services, of which S1000D is an integral part. “For smaller suppliers, the specialistic S1000D tools and knowledge are often too large an investment. Verebus has these tools and knowledge in house. Moreover, Verebus has been building up experience in the development of documents and logistical information for the Dutch Ministry of Defence since 1947. Verebus is familiar with the current systems (SAP) and the operational management of all Defence units. Therefore, it is sensible that Verebus supports and supervises the transition to the Sx000i standards.” The knowledge of S1000D is continuously updated and recorded at the Verebus Academy. Verebus shares its knowledge and experience with the Dutch Ministry of Defence and its suppliers through training courses. More information: www.verebus.nl

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EAL (Apeldoorn) BV

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Cyber Security Assessment: digital threats are only increasing

Disruption of society threatens The Netherlands must continually guard itself against digital threats. This is the insistent message of the recently published Cyber Security Assessment Netherlands (CSAN) 2019. In the report drawn up by the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), it appears that the threat is increasing rather than decreasing: the disruption of society looms ahead.

From power plants and water treatment plants to logistics systems and public transport: almost all vital processes and infrastructures in the Netherlands today are partly or fully digitalised without there being any notable fallback options or analogue alternatives.

companies and organisations to digitally secure themselves means they could be successfully attacked using simple methods. Many of the incidents that have occurred in recent years could have been prevented if relatively simple basic measures had been implemented. However, this can’t be blamed for everything. Resilience is also under pressure through developments in the IT world. Achilles heel In particular, unsecure products and services are an Achilles heel for digital security. According to the Cyber Security Assessment, they are ‘a fundamental cause of incidents’. They lower thresholds for attackers making it easier for them to carry out successful attacks. “An unsecure situation can arise due to suppliers delivering unsecure configurations as standard, because of a lack of available updates, offering updates that are hard to install or due to update mechanisms being compromised. Even if updates are available, organisations don’t always install them,” states the report. Furthermore, the threat of cybercrime remains as acute as ever (see text box). From DDoS attacks to phishing e-mails: the means to carry out these kinds of cyberattacks are available everywhere, and it’s not rocket science. The NCTV and

“National security is under permanent threat from digital attacks”

Combined with the fact that resilience is lagging, the Netherlands is continuously vulnerable to digital attacks. This constitutes a permanent threat. According to the Cyber Security Assessment, the inability of many

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the police, 1.2 million people were victims of digital crime last year. That is calculated to one in twelve Dutch people. Teenagers and young adults in particular fell victim, mainly to scams. They were conned when trying to buy something online or lost money because they paid fake invoices. E-mail, Facebook or Twitter accounts of one in fifty Dutch persons were hacked. What stands out is that a large percentage of the duped victims did not go to the police because they felt that it wouldn’t make a difference whether they reported it or not. Some were unaware that they could even file a police report. For this reason, the police will make it easier to file a report.

fragmented across multiple parties. Services are purchased from external parties and carried out externally using contractors. Control over and of the supply chain is highly complex. Vulnerable Furthermore, the Netherlands depends on a limited number of providers and countries, which makes us vulnerable to their shifting intentions. The vast majority of hardware and software is either designed or produced in China and the United States, for example. At the same time, the greatest digital threat to national security comes from countries such as China (again), Iran and Russia in the form of espionage, disruption and sabotage. By far the greatest threat of economic espionage comes from China. For Russia, our country is an interesting target for espionage for example relating to MH17. According to the Cyber Security Assessment, the extent of the threat from hostile nations continues to grow. Countries continue to use digital resources for espionage, disruption and sabotage. The threat from the criminal world remains as acute as ever. The chance of an attack going unnoticed is relatively high. Even if it is discovered, it is no easy task to find the perpetrators. Add to that, countries and criminals buy advanced attack tools, and therefore, they do not need to invest in developing them. This means that states can ‘outsource’ the preparation and execution of digital attacks to third parties.

NCSC also anticipate that this will continue to be a systematic problem in the near future. On top of that, the complexity of the digital infrastructure will only rise in the coming years due to ongoing digitisation. The increased use of

“Countries continue to use digital resources for espionage, disruption and sabotage”

shared facilities, such as cloud services, also plays a role in this making it harder to obtain and monitor the big picture. Admittedly, IT control remains within organisations, but the implementation is

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Dependent The almost complete dependence on digitisation has made digital security an essential factor for ensuring that our society and economy function smoothly. One incident in a network could lead to a chain of incidents and ultimately to the failure of critical infrastructure for example, sluices, logistics or electricity. Due to the near total disappearance of analogue alternatives and the absence of fallback options, the dependence has increased to such an extent that any impairment can cause social disruption. According to the Cyber Security Assessment, a cyberattack does not necessarily lead to this result. A simple human error can also have dire consequences.


T2-DOC bv

“Professional documentation within reach” “T²-Doc bv is specialized in the development of Technical Documentation and solving (complex) documentation problems”, according to T²-Doc bv.

For years we have been a reliable partner for the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice and Security (Police) and the industry. Our team includes technicians, among others, who have years of experience and professional knowledge in the field of small arms, ammunition and explosives, optics and optronics, personal equipment, protection and specific gear.

How do you see the future of T²-Doc bv and do you have a mission?

Can you give an example of technical documentation for the Ministry of Defence?

Our mission is a continuous process of “always improving”. Not only the quality but also the processes and the way of supporting our customers are the core values of our mission. And of course we stand for customer satisfaction. If the customer is satisfied, so are we. In order to retain the quality of the documentation on a high-quality level, we work in accordance with the S1000D and S2000M specifications. The quality management system of T²-Doc bv and its application meets the requirements as laid down in the NEN-EN-ISO 9001 standard.

With the Ministry of Defence it is important that the documentation is written on the level of the target groups, being: OLM (Organic Level Maintenance – the user level), ILM (Intermediate Level Maintenance – the maintenance level) and the DLM (Depot Level Maintenance – the specialized work place level). The most common documents are: technical manuals, spare parts lists, inspection work cards, equipment packages, special tools and instruction cards. The user and repairer must safely and optimally make use of the purchased product. Sharing the right information increases the safety of the user and repairer, but certainly also the life span of the product. These products are, among others, firearms, optics, ammunition, CBRN decontamination suits, workplace containers and batons.

What can and may a customer expect from T²-Doc bv? T²-Doc bv offers professional technical documentation within reach. T²-Doc bv supports the Ministry of Defence (DMO and MatLogCo), Ministry of Justice and Security (Police) and the industry in providing the correct technical information, at all levels, to target groups within the organization. We can also provide data/information with which the inventory management system (SAP) of the Ministry of Defence can be completed in a correct manner and with the correct information. Furthermore we also take care of the version management of the documents by means of our web server and maintain the contacts with the customer, supplier as well as the users of the products.

What is the added value of T²-Doc bv for a client? We offer our clients more than just documentation, our added value is capacity, quality and saving time. Not every company has the expertise in the field of writing technical documentation and the specific requirements which, for example, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice and Security set for their documentation. T²-Doc bv has the knowledge, experience and expertise in-house to assist and support the customer in this, during the process. This allows us to relieve the customer, so the customer can focus on the development and optimization of its products.

Contact information: Telephone: Email: Website:

+31 (0)79-206.00.50 contact@t2-doc.nl www.t2-doc.nl


Koninklijke Marine [Royal Netherlands Navy] very enthusiastic

The IP Company leads the way with an innovative system The new Combat Support Ship (CSS) Zr.Ms. Den Helder, which the Netherlands Navy will be operating in the coming years, will hopefully be equipped with The IP Company’s Wireless Communication and Messaging System (WCMS). The Netherlands Navy uses the communication system on board the Zr. Ms. Karel Doorman and four Holland class patrol ships, and they had good experiences with it.

“The advantage is simple: monitoring incoming fault and maintenance reports is no longer a main task, but a secondary task. As a result, we can work more effectively and free up one or two people on board for tasks and work that are even more important,” says Kevin Stouten, an officer on Zr.Ms.Holland who is responsible for the safety of the systems on board.

“Thanks to WCMS we can work more effectively and free up one or two people” The IP Company’s innovative communication system was built into the construction of that ship. After seven years, the experiences are very positive, says Stouten. “In the past, all reports arrived in a control room that was constantly staffed by one or two people. They forwarded reports to crew members manually. Thanks to WCMS, this is no longer necessary. Nowadays, one person is responsible on a daily basis: this crew member logs into the system and receives notifications on a specially-secured smartphone or tablet. In the meantime,

LTZ Kevin Stouten

he or she is available for other activities. In short, crew members can be deployed much more flexibly.” Greater safety In addition to saving on personnel costs, WCMS contributes to greater safety on board. Sensors guarantee that dangerous situations are known at lightning speed. Moreover, the Technical Service has constant insight into maintenance reports so the chance of machines and equipment failing is extremely low. The crew also uses WCMS as a voice communication system. “For example, this is very handy if you work with machines that produce a lot of noise. You can then set up a group chat on the earphones of a headset.” In the seven years that the Holland class has been working with WCMS, there have been no significant problems, says Stouten. “It is crucial that the Wi-Fi coverage on board is good; and despite all the steel, it is 100 percent.” Stouten expects that automation on board naval vessels will continue to increase. The IP Company is prepared for this. WCMS is designed in such a way that it is easy to link to existing and new systems. More information: www.theipcompany.nl

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Air Force ‘relatively unscathed’ from austerity period

Increasing collaboration In the Netherlands, the Air Force and industry are in­creas­ ingly standing shoulder to shoulder, observes Peter Huis in ’t Veld, Business Development Manager at NIDV. New forms of collaboration create many new opportunities. A story about the state of affairs and the different perspectives.

Peter Huis in ‘t Veld

“The Dutch Air Force has - relatively speaking -come through the recent period of austerity ‘reasonably well’,” says Huis in ’t Veld. This was partly due to the decision of Dutch politicians to invest in the F35 as the successor to the F16 and to actively participate in the development of the American aircraft. It was also because of the crucial role attributed to the Air Force in national defence and its deployment in military missions such as those in Syria, Uruzgan and Mali. “Even though Defence budgets are on the rise again, this does not mean that we don’t have challenges to face,” says Huis in ’t Veld. “The Air Force is currently struggling to attract and retain good technicians. It’s a very good employer, but commercial companies pay better and on top of that, the Air Force is largely dependent on people with Dutch nationality for security reasons. That becomes even more palpable in times of scarcity.” The Air Force is currently working hard on new processes to recruit technical staff,

partly in collaboration with the secondary vocational ‘Peace and Security’ training course provided by various Regional Training Centres (ROCs). They are also looking at options to work with industry in a broader contact, says Huis in ’t Veld. “You could imagine situations in which people work for eight years at the Ministry of Defence, then move over to industry, and ultimately return to the Ministry of Defence.” Important In the last ten to twenty years, the Air Force has been very important for Dutch industry. “The purchase of the F35 enabled Dutch companies to be involved in the development and production of the aircraft,” adds Huis in ‘t Veld. At that time, companies and knowledge institutions joined forces in the NIFARP, the Dutch Industrial F35 Aircraft Platform, so that they

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could take concerted action. “This has paid off. The production value for Dutch industry amounts to about nine billion euros, and we are talking around twelve to twenty billion euros for MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul). The F35 (of which 37 were initially purchased and another eight are on order with hopefully more to follow) has directly and indirectly created 5,500 new jobs in the Netherlands.” According to Huis in ’t Veld, the Air Force is looking at the same time for ways to

technologies exist and which can be used. Various large companies are involved.” Middleman The developments are in keeping with the idea that the Air Force and industry are seeking each out more often. “In a sense, they already can’t do without each other, and collaborating on developments generally leads to genuine added value,” says Huis in ’t Veld. “In our position as NIDV, we are trying to be the middleman. For example, we sometimes connect companies to the Air Force if certain innovations are promising and there is a win-win situation if the Ministry of Defence steps in as launching customer. A company such as Sun Test Systems, that develops advanced testing equipment for aircraft, among other things, had to go all the way to Alabama to test new technologies. As NIDV, we enabled them to do that at Gilze-Rijen Air Base, fully certified by the large OEMs in global aircraft construction. These are examples of the types of collaboration we are increasingly trying to realise.” They are extremely important, emphasises Huis in ’t Veld. “Industry fulfils a role for the Dutch Air Force, which is still considered to be part of the international ‘A-team’ by Americans. Staff are highly trained, well-educated and the equipment is properly maintained. The Woensdrecht Logistics Centre is responsible for Air Force equipment and is extremely well organised. The Air Force has also allowed certain companies to access the location. This has laid the foundations for far-reaching publicprivate partnerships. Moreover, we earn money from renting out the buildings.”

The Air Force currently employs over 7,200 staff (military and civilian positions). Their headquarters is in Breda. There are two bases for almost 70 operational F16s: Volkel and Leeuwarden. The Air Force helicopters (Chinook, Apache, Cougar and NH90) are stationed in the Defence Helicopter Command in Gilze-Rijen, Den Helder (De Kooy) and Deelen. Eindhoven Air Base is the home base of the Ministry of Defence’s transport aircraft - the KDC-10 and the C-130 - and for the Gulf Stream get new technology on board at a faster rate by working with industry. “This has not been entirely successful at the moment, particularly because technologies continue to develop so rapidly, and the armed forces’ investment programmes can’t keep up with that pace. We cannot have the Defence Material Organisation (DMO, ed.) purchasing the iPhone 8 when the iPhone X is already on the market, for example. One result of this in the Air Force - also due to the Defence Industry Strategy (DIS, ed.) - is a platform where we can look together with industry at whether new

IV passenger aircraft (used for transporting high-ranking military and civilian personnel). Woensdrecht Air Base serves as the main support base.

Promising Looking to the future, he sees promising perspectives for industry. “Besides the F16, more aircraft are being replaced, such as the arrival of the Airbus A330 tanker to replace the KDC-10. Together with NATO partners Norway, Germany and Luxembourg, the Netherlands has purchased eight of these aircraft for Multi-Role Tanker & Transport. Four will be stationed in Eindhoven and four in Cologne. The number of helicopters will also be expanded in coming years. In both cases, this creates new stimuli for Dutch industry.”

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Faes Cases specialises in complex pack­ aging solutions for many high­tech in­ dustries such as the armed forces and the medical industry. The company utilises its extensive experience to meet the high military standard for packaging solutions and supports other contractors with its knowledge. “We know the mili­ tary needs like no other.”

Faes Cases: experienced packaging consultant for the armed forces

Added value with bespoke products and knowledge customers. Faes Cases has been a regular partner in the TITAAN project since 2004. This project was specifically designed to enable a set-up of a robust and reliable IT network for military personnel deployed or stationed anywhere in the world. We have been supplying custom- built electrical enclosures for this project for 15 years. Faes Cases has an impressive portfolio that underline their decades of experience in designing bespoke packagings for sensitive equipment. This ranges from the packaging for a radar antenna from an F-16 to climatecontrolled aluminium enclosures; watertight and dust-free, with numerous options for wiring and storage covers in the lid. The latter specifically designed to maintain the working temperature for IT-equipment that was used during missions in Afghanistan, between 0 and 35 degrees.

The Faes Group does not only consist of branches that specialise in sustainable packaging solutions and process optimisation of the supply chain. A separate branch within the Faes Group is formed by SKB Europe. SKB Europe is the exclusive European distributor for SKB cases; an American manufacturer of plastic cases. These cases are very popular in the field of safety and security due to their specific properties which make them strong, light-weight, watertight and dust proof. Jeffry Pietersz: “The cases are extremely suitable for the transport of medical equipment and weapons.” Added value Faes Cases provides added value with their knowledge and ability to provide custom-designed packaging interiors. “We are working more closely with the Ministry of Defence who linked us to the manufacturer (OEM) of surgical lamps for field hospitals. They asked us to contribute to a design for a bespoke transport solution. Eventually, we managed to design a solution in close cooperation with the armed forces and the product developer.

Faes Cases is part of Faes Group BV, which was established in 1987 and deals with packaging solutions in the broadest sense. The company is located in Reusel, Noord-Brabant and is at the heart of the Eindhoven Brainport Industry. Faes Cases is one of three specialised business units within Faes Group BV. The Faes Group employs 80 people; 40 of them work for Faes Cases.

This cooperation prompted Faes Cases to invest even more in supporting other contractors for the armed forces. “We are able to translate a list of requirements to a packaging solution for a product”, says Henk Hardeman. “This was done for instance, for one of our relations who delivered antenna masts. In such specific cases, we supply the contractors with the lacking packaging knowledge. This input allows other contractors to offer the ministry of defence a better deal in both quality and price.

Titaan According to Safety & Security account manager Jeffry Pietersz and military consultant Henk Hardeman, the armed forces is one of their most prominent

More information: www.faescases.com/defence

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insights


Army focuses on innovation and technology

Moving towards collaboration The Royal Netherlands Army is becoming increasingly open to working with industry, even to the level of strategic knowledge. New opportunities for industry are emerging with developments such as the Technology Center Land and Soesterberg Distribution Centre, which will be developed in the coming years.

It has been three years since the Netherlands Court of Audit delivered a damning verdict about the state of the Dutch Army in particular: a lack of vehicles, lack of maintenance, lack of spare parts, lack of ammunition and a lack of fighting capacity. The verdict hit hard. Alarms went off everywhere. According to a former defence expert, Kees Homan from the Clingendael Institute, the findings, published in Insights at the time, were ‘much worse’ than predicted. Since then things have taken a turn for the better for the Army even if they are still waiting for major investments for the future, according to Stefan Schaafsma, Ground-based Business Development Manager at NIDV. “The Army is still relatively small compared to twenty or thirty years ago. More money may be coming in throughout the Defence organisations, but it is mainly being spent on overdue maintenance. This does of course create work for our industry. The biggest momentum, however, will come from the long-term vision, which includes a greater commitment to collaboration than existed in the past.” High value Autonomous systems and robotics : the Army’s focus is on using high-tech to strengthen the connection between humans and technology in the future. Furthermore, the Army wants to make a start on establishing the Technology Center Land (TCL). This is comparable to that which the Air Force has established in the Woensdrecht Logistics Centre and is a semi-open environment, where Defence organisations and industry can work together. A similar idea is behind the plans for the new Soesterberg Distribution Centre, which is intended to replace the Army’s four current logistics centres (which are at unknown locations). The Ministry of Defence wants to work with a logistics provider for the operations. The plans should be more concrete by the end of the year.

The Royal Netherlands Army currently employs over 18,000 staff (military and civilian positions). The Army’s operational units fall under the command of the Royal Netherlands Army Command (CLAS) in Utrecht. There are eleven units in total, including CLAS Staff, the Airborne Brigade, the Light Brigade and the special forces of the Commando Corps. CLAS staff are located in the Kromhout barracks in Utrecht. The Army’s units are housed in dozens of barracks throughout the country.

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The common thread running through all of these ambitions is the creation of adaptive armed forces. The respective plans were introduced in early 2017 by the then Minister of Defence, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. Within this ‘Total Force Concept’, the armed forces will work more flexibly and sustainably with companies and organisations than is currently the case. Defence organisations do not have all the resources themselves, but they do have access to people and equipment where and when these are required. Superior The ideas may be clear, but we still have a long way to go to get there, Schaafsma emphasises. “This isn’t surprising either. It’s easier to downscale an organisation than try to build it back up again afterwards, in a completely different time and under very different circumstances. You can however clearly see that the Army has an open attitude to all manner of technological


developments, such as smart robotics, drones and high-quality sensors. In the Army’s vision of the future entitled ‘Security is looking ahead’, it literally says that superior technology will be the decisive factor in the fight of the future. The focus is shifting to new technologies and new resources. The ambition to collaborate is becoming increasingly apparent from that need to innovate.” The Technology Center Land (TLC) stands out most as an example of the future ambition. Stefan Schaafsma, “At NIDV, we are closely involved with that development. As an example, last October, we and our participants in the NIDV Grondgebonden Platform (Landbased Platform) and the Royal Netherlands Army Command (CLAS) visited the Woensdrecht Logistics Centre. During this visit we discussed ideas for collaborating in areas such as maintenance, exchanges and secondments. CLAS wants to work together with industry to shape the TCL,

Stefan Schaafsma

and it is looking, for example, at using shared engineers, including the corresponding innovative types of contracts. This would be a win-win for both sides. There are excellent opportunities for Dutch industry. The same applies to the impetus that the Army is giving to concept development and experimentation to promote innovation. This year, 20 million euros has been made available for new product development. This also means increased collaboration.” Emphasis In strengthening the Army, the emphasis is on the role the Dutch armed forces could fulfil within NATO and the EU. “No one anticipates that there will be new brigades, for example. There was talk of setting up a new tank brigade for a while, but the question is whether you still need armed forces at the same levels they were in the past. The Total Force Concept will focus on specific requirements within NATO. At the same time, the final design still has to be determined. The outlook for Dutch industry is promising.”

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When Rolof Mulder founded his company - Hospitainer - he never thought that, since it’s a social enterprise, it would ever work on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. But it did happen, partly due to the increasingly strong ‘dual-purpose’ orientation of the armed forces. “We’re seeing an increasing trend towards a much less incidental relationship.”

Hospitainer: hospitals in a cargo container

“There are opportunities all around the world”

Rolof Mulder

prominent consumer of mobile clinics for refugee camps and in disaster areas, and the establishment of special maternity clinics in areas with little medical care. But we also do business with governments on a regular basis. For example, we worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop mobile test labs and an isolation centre during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia.” A relatively new development is the installation of more permanent clinics in post-conflict areas in Colombia. “We’ve already received the first order for that,” says Mulder. “We’re creating very affordable clinics there, which run entirely on solar energy and will last for thirty years without any problems. Together with the support of our Dutch government at the ministerial level, we are working on a plan for five hundred clinics in Colombia over the next decade.”

Hospitainer develops and produces mobile and modular hospitals from standard (oceanic) cargo containers, for use in remote places in developing countries, but also near war zones or regions that have been hit by (natural) disasters. Mulder came up with the idea when he did a job, as an ICT specialist in Africa, inside a computer container placed next to a hospital. “Why not a hospital built of cargo containers?” I asked myself.

Prevention Mulder also observes increasing interest from a preventive perspective. “For example, we are in talks with the Indonesian government about prepositioning the units on location. We have a lot of stock and can deliver quickly, but travel time is always a factor. By already having the units present in areas where there is a relatively high risk of natural disasters, you can save time when things do go wrong.”

Once he was back home, he worked out the concept, handed his ICT company over to his son and, together with a retired carpenter, built his first ‘hospital container’ in a neighbour’s garden. “That first model was eventually deployed by Doctors Without Borders in Haiti after the massive earthquake of 2010,” he says.

He is also increasingly seeing “different, less incidental” policy in his relationship with the Ministry of Defence. “Defence has never been a specific focus, but we once won a major defence tender in a foreign country and we’re still building upon that success. We see more plan-based approaches and also more interest in our own country in what Dutch industry has to offer, such as our hospitals-also in connection with the peace missions. This, together with the other developments, is very hopeful. There are opportunities all around the world.”

NGOs According to Mulder, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are still Hospitainer’s largest and most important clients. “For example, the UN is a

More information: www.hospitainer.com

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insights


Building on its industrial strength, says NIDV

The Dutch naval construction cluster stands tall In NIDV’s Dutch naval construction cluster, the ‘Golden Triangle’ of government, knowledge institutions and industry, we are seeing signs of recovery now that over two decades of austerity have come to an end. The lack of a level playing field in Europe, however, remains a concern, says Maarten Lutje Schipholt from the NIDV.

Two years ago, former navy man, Lutje Schipholt, co-authored a joint study conducted by NIDV and industry associations NMT (Netherlands Maritime Technology) and NML (Maritime by Holland) into the state of affairs in the Dutch maritime construction cluster. Their final report was a cry for help: the acclaimed golden triangle of government, knowledge institutions and industry was at the point of collapse. Lutje Schipholt even spoke of the imminent disintegration of a complete ecosystem. “If you keep cutting costs, then you shouldn’t be surprised if the critical lower threshold comes into view,” he says. The tone has changed in two years. It is more optimistic. “The situation has changed for the better since 2017,” he says. “Half of the additional funds announced in the 2018 Defence White Paper are destined for the Navy. On the one hand, this is of course positive, but on the other it proves that something was really wrong.” Advantage A significant advantage is that there is more clarity about maritime projects, which benefits Dutch industry. For example, the Ministry of Defence intends to award the construction of four new M-class frigates for the Royal Netherlands Navy to Damen Shipyards, with Thales Hengelo supplying the radar and combat management systems and will create many spin-offs for the Dutch supply industry. Furthermore, Damen will supply a new combat support ship, again partnering with Thales for the combat systems. The hull will be made at Damen in Romania, and the technical completion will be carried out in the Netherlands.

Maarten Lutje Schipholt

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Mercy NIDV’s motto is therefore to build on your own strengths. Lutje Schipholt emphasises that a short-term focus combined with a ‘quick deal’ with a foreign (state-owned) company can be risky in the long term, ‘because we will be at their mercy’. He highly recommends looking at the full lifetime costs regardless of the influence that the involvement of Dutch industry has on employment and knowledge development.

After the presentation of the new Defence Industry Strategy (DIS) in early 2019, the Damen/Thales consortium missed the order for the construction of twelve minehunters for the Dutch and Belgian navies (six each). According to Maarten Lutje Schipholt, the main reason for this was because Belgium, being a country with a less developed maritime industry, set other priorities. “With that, we also immediately saw the European scope of influence shift into high gear. After some vigorous political lobbying, the order was finally won by Naval Group, a French state-owned company.” Grant He calls the course of events ‘disappointing’, although he emphasises, “You have to be happy for each other when you are in a collaboration. The Belgian’s are pleased with the deal, so we have to grant them that.” In his view, it is more important that the partnership offers scope to fully utilise the participation orders for the Dutch supply industry, ‘which is something that is still unclear at the moment’. This last example was a ‘hard lesson’, which he thinks should be taken very seriously. A good place to start is with the next major order for defence-related shipbuilding: the construction of four new submarines for the Dutch Navy. Four large consortia are in the race for the contract, including the Dutch/Swedish consortium Damen-Saab Kockums. It is competing against Naval Group (once again), the Spanish Navantia and the German KTMS.

At the same time, mindful of the hard lesson of the minehunters, preparations are underway in case the decision does not go in our favour. Lutje Schipholt, “Whichever of the other three consortia wins, 60% of the order value must be outsourced to Dutch industry. Even if another country will be building our submarines, a hefty share must go to our own companies. That is why we are currently helping our participants, united in the NIDV platform DUKC (Dutch Underwater Knowledge Centre), to secure guarantees from all consortia. Whatever the outcome, in this context there must be solid guarantees.”

At the time of this edition of Insights going to press, there was still no clarity about which consortium would go on to the next phase. “After an earlier postponement, the decision was supposed to be announced sometime in the summer, but it appears we will have to wait until autumn now,” according to Lutje Schipholt. “This may also be related to the DIS, in which the government committed to making maximum use of its own industry. This has major implications. This order is of unprecedented importance for all parties in the race. If DamenSaab wins this contract, the impact on the Dutch cluster in terms of new constructions and maintenance is immense. It would also give the companies’ export market an unparalleled stimulus. You can hardly image a more powerful boost to a company’s reputation than an order from your own Navy.”

The Royal Netherlands Navy is the oldest branch of the Netherlands’ armed forces and employs almost 10,000 staff (military and civilian positions). Since the Submarine Service settled in New Haven in Den Helder it has been the home base of the entire naval fleet. The harbour also houses the Admiralty Board, the highest advisory body within the Royal Netherlands Navy. Den Helder is also the home base of the Royal Naval College (KIM), the institute of higher educa­ tion for future officers. Since 2013, parts of the navy base in New Haven have been opened for joint use by civilians.

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TSS International BV

Armour Mobility TSS International specialises in providing high quality mobility products for vehicles that cannot afford to stand still. These products are tested and certified by institutes such as TNO, T端V and the Beschussamt. For the Dutch Army, TSS provides runflat wheel assemblies for the Boxer, G-Wagen, Fennek, Patria, Bushmaster, Scania and DAF, allowing these vehicles to keep driving with flat tyres for more than 100kms (FINABEL standard). 速

Our latest innovation is SKYDEX Convoy Deck. This floor mat is a combat-proven product which provides lightweight blast mitigation against under-vehicle IED-blasts (STANAG 4569). Partnering with the Dutch Army, TSS has delivered a runflat fitting container which has been in service in Afghanistan and Mali since 2006. TSS also trained many operators for this mobile workshop. TSS is a Dutch family business, ISO 9001:2015-certified, member of NIDV and proud to be able to work with the Dutch MOD, making a valuable contribution to the mobility & safety of Dutch soldiers all over the world. Other Armour Mobility products on display at www.TSSH.com and the NEDS exhibition (formerly NIDV) on November 28th in Rotterdam: Self-sealing Fuel Tanks, Vehicle Intercoms, Tyre Shields, Heavy Duty Wheels & -Braking Systems and many more. More information: www.TSSH.com

Naval applications are subject to some of the most challen足 ging requirements found at sea as well as on land. As the archetypal mobile but heavy force, the navy is often called upon to channel disaster relief or secure distant areas. This may require it to sail anywhere in the world at short notice, including regions with extreme climates far from supply lines. When this happens, it is important to know that you can rely on your heating, ventilation, air足conditioning and refrigeration units no matter what.

Heinen & Hopman

Leading specialist and global supplier of maritime HVAC systems

Heinen & Hopman has long-established and wide-ranging practical experience in the maritime field. Besides carrying out the full cycle from design to installation, we also provide global coverage and 24-7 service availability thanks to major service points and spare part depots around the world. In addition to countless merchant vessels, offshore installations, yachts and buildings, Heinen & Hopman has equipped a number of navy ships. More information: www.heinenhopman.com

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RH Marine: frontrunner in innovation of high-tech maritime systems

Ships are becoming increasingly more intelligent Ships are becoming smarter and smarter and are increas­ ingly self­repairing, says Innovation Director Jan van Bekkum of RH Marine. The end of this development is still quite far away. “The increasing demand for safe operations and the growing scarcity of crews are driving a demand for more intelligence in ships.”

Rock solid With a strong accent on naval vessels. RH Marine has a rock solid reputation in that world, both within and outside the Netherlands. “In the Netherlands, we often work with the Royal Netherlands Navy, TNO and the shipyards where the ships are built and maintained. We also work with foreign navies such as those in Great Britain, Poland, Morocco, Singapore, and Colombia.”

“Innovation is in our company’s DNA” The history of RH Marine goes back to 1860, when Jan Jacob van Rietschoten laid the foundation for the later Van Rietschoten & Houwens - retroactively one of the most innovative maritime installation companies the Netherlands has ever known. “We cherish that reputation,” says Van Bekkum. “Innovation is in our company’s DNA.” RH Marine designs, installs and maintains the complete electrical installation, automation and navigation on complex naval vessels, ranging from frigates to submarines as well as on superyachts. “With a leading role when it comes to hybrid ships,” adds Van Bekkum. “We’re a leader in the field of complex control systems.”

RH Marine focuses on automation systems, which are becoming smarter and more intelligent. One of the examples mentioned by Jan van Bekkum in this context is an Electronic Incident Board developed by RH Marine in cooperation with knowledge partners. It provides real-time insight into the actual situation, after damage or in the event of a fire. Crucial It is crucial for RH Marine’s position that it plays a leading role in the development of such systems, he says. “In the end, our customers want to be at the forefront. The Royal Netherlands Navy, for example, is constantly looking for new, smarter solutions. That’s why we’re happy that we can often work together with the navy, as a launching customer on innovations, for instance augmented reality on the navigation bridge.” Regarding the future, he distinguishes three main innovation themes: autonomous sailing, emission-free sailing and provide solutions to the market that are completely cybersecure. “All techniques in these areas are constantly and rapidly evolving. When it comes to knowledge and know-how, we are among the leading innovators. We absolutely want to keep it that way,” concludes van Bekkum.

More information: www.rhmarine.com

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Major impact of the ‘tech revolution’ on defence and security

Increasing threats The rapid rise of new technologies has had an unprecedented impact on defence and security. New discoveries lead to just as many new threats, while the old ones continue to exist, says scientific director Hendrik-Jan van Veen from TNO Defence, Security and Safety. He believes that the unprecedented pace of inno­vation will inevitably force countries to make choices.

He mentioned one example half-way through the conversation, on the topic of laser weapons. It was a major development, there is no arguing about that, but not one that made the Army superfluous in one fell swoop for example, Van Veen emphasises. “Although you can build up a strong defence against those weapons, if you then fail to lock your back door, the enemy can still get in. It is not the case that as one thing comes the other goes. It just adds another to the pile. We see that across the board; the number of types of threats is increasing.” This is closely related to the increasingly dominant role that technology, and modern technology, also plays in the military and security perspective. Van Veen also mentions the ‘pace of war’ as another example in this context. “Decisions are taken faster, hypersonic missiles will soon be heading towards the enemy at dizzying speed, much faster than their predecessors ever did. As a result, faster action is required and a phenomenon such as artificial intelligence is gaining in importance in this context. In the military field, decisions are increasingly being taken with the support of machines. It is up to us all to ensure that everything works properly, but also to make sure there are

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ethical and legal guarantees about the boundaries. We also need to ensure that there is transparency afterwards about why certain decisions were taken for those systems. This is something we are continually working on at a high level.” Race A future without artificial intelligence is unimaginable, he says. “Soon, some parts of the battle will proceed so fast that, ultimately, people will not be able to act quickly enough. Take cybersecurity; to put it simply, with many digital threats it’s about people using software to try to deceive other software. In this race between systems, people are reactive and therefore, too slow. Protection software is faster, more advanced and smarter. It can detect algorithm and data disruptions in milliseconds and take protective


From the period just after World War II, TNO has played a prominent role in research and development for the Ministry of Defence that was a forerunner in the field of ‘outsourcing’ R&D. Although the actual research was outsourced, the ministry didn’t relinquish all control: it was laid down in law that the Ministry of Defence play a part in the decision-making process about the activities of the (current) Defence, Safety & Security (TNO DSS) unit. At DSS, some 700 experts work every day on important facets of defence and national security. Key to this is high-quality knowledge development on strategic themes and knowledge sharing and collaboration with other TNO units and companies. TNO DSS is based in The Hague, Rijswijk and Soesterberg.

measures without any human intervention: it locks the door and fits a new lock.” He emphasises that he is not daunted by the rise of artificial intelligence. “As a scientist, I understand how it works on the inside. History has taught us that you can use any technology with good or bad intent. It’s no different in this case. The ethical dilemmas are not related to the technology but to the user, which means you need to invest in the responsible use of artificial intelligence. It won’t happen all by itself. The fact is, technology is pushing us in that direction. Faster decision-making is a crucial factor in future security issues. Artificial intelligence does this.” Crippling The digital threat is one of the rapidly emerging, new risks that TNO deals with on a daily basis. “It used to be clear in the past: war was waged on land, sea and in the air,” says Van Veen. “Underwater warfare became part of that a century ago. The digital world has developed into a prominent battlefield, from crippling complete systems to coordinated disinformation campaigns to effect regime change. Since the middle of last century, space has become increasingly relevant from a military perspective.”

“Countries are becoming increasingly picky this and not that”

Space. In Star Trek and Star Wars, it formed the backdrop to breathtaking laser fights. In reality, it’s mainly the setting of an information race. Van Veen says, “It’s an invisible world. You don’t quite know what’s going on, only that large countries see space as crucial to their information position. Billions of euros are being invested in developing satellites that observe, eavesdrop, spy - you name it. It’s nothing new in and of itself, but it is increasing in scale.”

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The Netherlands hardly participates in that ‘military battle’, which, according to Van Veen, is quite logical, certainly if you look at it from an economic perspective. “Space has military importance, but you are also highly vulnerable. We are talking about equipment with an exceptionally high price tag, which you must also be able to defend. That is simply out of the Netherlands’ price range on its own. We excel in other areas. We’re the best in areas such as maritime radars and underwater sensors. That’s a good thing. From a strategic viewpoint but also from one of sovereignty. You have to be world champion at something, or you count for nothing.” Dilemmas Furthermore, with that so-called ‘niche capacity’ the Netherlands has actually positioned itself for the picture that is emerging globally. The militarytechnological revolution is creating almost endless possibilities, but due to the unprecedented investments, there’s also one major dilemma: the cost. Van Veen explains, “An incredible amount of money is involved. It’s virtually impossible to do everything yourself. It’s also the reason why we are seeing increasing collaboration and the move towards specialisation. Countries are becoming increasingly picky - this and not that.” The importance of collaboration is increasing by the day, certainly for small countries such as the Netherlands, according to Van Veen. “In the past, there was a hard border between the NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and it was visible on the ground. Nowadays, digital intruders don’t pay any attention to national borders, and that’s just one example. The total dynamic of threats that are increasing in number and complexity will only require more collaboration between countries.”


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Earlier this year, the collaboration be­tween the Royal Netherlands Army and civil partners Capgemini and CGI re­sul­ted in the first tangible product: the Digital Learning Hub (DLH). According to Jasmijn Baldinger from Capgemini, this is a promising first step within the pilot project that started in 2018.

Digital Learning Hub

Promising start of military-civilian pilot project The DLH can best be described as a digital learning environment. In this specific case, it is a portal that enables the Command & Control (C2) Support Centre to access information. The C2 Support Centre is the organisational unit that deals with the School Liaison Office and is responsible for ensuring the liaison officers’ knowledge is kept up to date. As a first step, the decision was taken to provide direct support to the NCO

connections at company level, the so-called ‘Foxtrots’. Above all, the hub is an extremely practical instrument, says Jasmijn Baldinger, Aerospace & Defence Account Executive at Capgemini. “Learning materials were and still are available at many places in the Ministry of Defence. This could include instruction manuals but also substantive evaluations on the use of certain types of radios in the form of ‘lessons learned’ and training material. In the old situation, the training materials were at the school, the manuals were with the teams that were responsible for implementation, and the lessons learned sat in a desk draw in the unit that had just returned from the mission. During the pilot project, all that information was collected and made accessible through a single portal.”

“The most work, however, is just getting started”

Discussions The Foxtrots can now find all kinds of documentation about the FM9000 radio on the hub, which ‘runs’ on the Mulan system. This means they can keep their knowledge and skills up to date, fill gaps in their knowledge, make their own knowledge available to others, and discuss their field of expertise using the forum and chat functionality. Documents, such as manuals, maps, instruction cards, checklists and order formats have made been available in an innovative way. Films and other multi-media content have also been brought together. The DLH is structured towards the target groups, so that relevant content is available quickly and easily.

Jasmijn Baldinger

The development of the DLH is special for a number of reasons. First, there’s the fact that the Ministry of Defence collaborated with the two civil partners Capgemini and CGI. Then there was the intensive involvement of the users themselves from

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The DLH was developed within a pilot project in the field of knowledge development. The CLAS’ C2 Support Command entered into this pilot with Capgemini and CGI in the context of the Adaptive Armed Forces. The prototype was developed by a working group of staff from the C2SC, Capgemini, CGI and DLH users on the basis of Design Thinking. The DLH can be accessed from mobile devices and is steadily being expanded with more content for the Foxtrots. More target groups (i.e. network managers, HF radio staff, etc.) will also be integrated. At the same time, an app is being developed for mobile use, so that the tool can also be used in the field.

the initial to the final design of the DLH, which is much more than simply a collection of PDF files. These two facts alone make the development an extraordinary project. On top of that, users within the DLH can now make direct contributions themselves without the traditional intervention of the C2SC Knowledge Centre. Fast For Capgemini, which took on the lion’s share of the work within this particular part of the pilot, building the DLH was a new phase in the collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, says Baldinger. “We can see how the world of automation and IT services is developing, and it’s fast. We were also aware that the Ministry of Defence could no longer do it alone. Everything had to change, but no one knew exactly how. Not even us, but we did want to help. In the end, many of those facets came together in this first part of our pilot. We have had a taste of how such a collaboration works, and we have seen where we can really be of help. It’s a win-win for everyone.” She added, for instance, that it had become clear in certain ways that the Ministry of Defence had been struggling to keep up with the pace of the market. “We noticed this, for example, when we thought: and now we’re going to make progress. It turned out the time we had to spend at the Ministry of Defence was too short, which meant there weren’t always enough people available. Sometimes it wasn’t always easy to create the basic conditions we required. For example, it took a relatively long time to find a physical location for the server. However that wasn’t a problem

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at all - the point of pilot projects is to get a clear picture of these kinds of issues. These pilots help clarify potential issues we could run into, and they make us think about how we can tackle that differently the next time.” Monitoring In terms of content, she is very pleased with the DLH. The full management of the DLH has since been transferred to the Ministry of Defence. “It’s a significant step forward within this particular domain. Naturally, we are monitoring, in close collaboration, whether it works as intended, whether the liaison officers can do their work better and whether they can provide access to the knowledge and information more easily. If this works, similar projects can be set up for other groups.” According to Lieutenant-Colonel Gert Jan Kruijsbergen, the Knowledge Centre for the Liaison Office is also pleased with the result and the launch of the hub. “The most work, however, is just getting started,” he says. “We also want to provide the support that we, in excellent partnership with the KIXS (Knowledge, Innovation, Experimentation and Stimulation) department and the JIVC (Joint Information Provision Command), now offer to the Foxtrots in relation to the FM9000, for other systems and to many other liaison officers.”


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