On 8th December the Dutch State Secretary for Defence Jack de Vries layed down the keel of the first patrol vessel for the Royal Netherlands Navy in the dock of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. During the ceremony
the names of the four patrol vessels were also announced: "Holland", "Zeeland", "Friesland" and "Groningen".
In the "Navy Study 2005", the foundation was laid for the new fleet of the Royal Netherlands Navy. On account of a new world view and new threats such as terrorism and an increase in piracy, the emphasis has been placed on operations in littoral waters. A decision was taken to purchase four patrol vessels specifically for tasks in conflicts of lower intensity, such as monitoring shipping (including boarding operations) and carrying out patrol duties. The Royal Netherlands Navy previously sold six relatively heavily armed multipurpose frigates.
The new vessels will measure 108 m in length and will displace approximately 3750 t. They offer hangar space and landing facilities for one NH-90 helicopter or equivalent types. Their armament will consist of one 76 mm Oto-Melara gun, one rapid-fire gun and two Hitrole machine guns. The weapons will all have full remote control. Thanks to the state-of-the-art integrated sensor and communication technology in the mast, states the yard, detection and tracking of high- and low-altitude air targets, fast boats, periscopes, mines and even swimmers will be possible.
The first two patrol vessels are to be built at the shipyard of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen, with a number of sections being supplied by the Damen shipyard in Galati. Major parts of the third and fourth vessels are to be built at the Damen shipyard in Galati under the supervision of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding.
Keel laying of first patrol vessel for the Royal Netherlands Navy