The Netherlands: 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 on Monday, December 8.
‘During the official act, the State Secretary welded an old Dutch duit, traditional Dutch coin, to the first part of the vessel. The names of the four patrol vessels in the class were also announced: ‘Holland’, ‘Zeeland’, ‘Friesland’ and ‘Groningen’. The new vessels will measure 108 metres in length and will displace approximately 3750 tonnes. They offer hangar space and landing facilities for one NH-90 helicopter or equivalent types. Their armament will consist of one 76mm 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, 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.