Mar 18, 2011

Future of the Dutch Navy

Always very advanced, but with a reduced fleet...

Of the entire Dutch land aera, 18,41% (7,643 km2 (2,951 sq mi)) were of waters.
Coastline: 451 km (280 mi), and a EEZ aera of 68,783 km2 In the Dutch Antilles.

Personnal Strenght: +/- 10 000
+/- 7 000 sailors; +/- 2500 marines; +/- 800 naval aviation

4 AAW Destroyers
4 De Zeven Provinciƫn
(De Zeven Provinciƫn, Tromp, De Ruyter, Evertsen). 6000 tons, 144 meters highly effective AAW frigate. Commissioned by 2002-2005. Currently expected to be fully modernized (TBMD capable ship). With probable 30+ years of life expected, to be retired around 2032-2040.

2 Frigates
2 Karel Doorman class
(Van Speijk, Van Amstel), 3000 tons, 122 meters multi-purpose frigate. Well designed during the 1980’s. Currently under heavy upgrade (newer sensors/mast) to remain in service until 2020-2025.

Up to 4 Ocean Patrol Vessels
4 Holland
(Holland, Zeeland, Friesland, Groningen). 3000+ tons, 108 meters OPV design, with very advanced sensors/mast suit. To be commissioned by 2011/2012, with probable 25/30 years of service expected. To be retired around 2035/2040.

2 Large Amphibious assault ships
1 Rotterdam
(Rotterdam). 12000+ tons, 166 meters LPD designed in collaboration with Spain. Commissioned by 1998. With probable 25+ years of service expected, to be retired around mid 2020’s.

1 Johan de Witt
(Johan de Witt). 16800 tons, 176 meters, enlarged Rotterdam LPD design. Commissioned by 2007, with probable 25/30 years of life expected, to be retired around 2030/2035+.

The future JSS will have some amphibious capabilities .

3 Submarines
3 Walrus class
(Walrus, Zeeleeuw, Dolfijn), 1900/2300 tons, 67 meters SSK. A fourth SSK (Bruinvis) were in reserve. Designed by late 1970’s/mid 1980’s (after some requirement modification). Commissioned by 1992/1994. With a probable 30+ years of life. Currently some upgrades (sensors/sonars) were planned. To be retired probably around 2025-2030. Their replacement is “uncertain”

10 Mine-Hunters
10 Alkmaar class
(Haarlem, Maasluis, Makkum, Middelburg, Hellevoetsluis, Schiedam, Urk, Zierikzee, Vlaardingen, Willemstad). 600 tons, 53 meters Tripartite Mine-hunters. All commissioned by 1982/1989. 3 to be converted to control vessels for mine-sweep drones. All to be retired by mid 2010's/mid 2020's and replaced by fewer, bigger and more versatile ships.

2 Replenishment Ships
Up to 1 Zuiderkruis JSS
28 000 tons, 204 meters, newer highly advanced flexible ships (fleet tanker/cargo/amphibious/command ship). Currently under construction, to be completed by 2014.

1 Zuiderkruis class
(Zuiderkruis), 17 000 tons, 170 meters fleet tankers. Commissioned by 1975. To be retired by 2012-2014 and replaced by a newer JSS flexible ships

1 Amsterdam class
(Amsterdam), 17 000 tons, 166 meters fleet tankers. Commissioned by 1995

5 Others supports ships
4 Cerberus class (diving support)
(Cerberus, Argus, Nautilus, Hydra)

1 Mercuur class (Torpedo recovery)

2 Hydrographical survey ships
2 Snellius class (hydrographical survey)
(Snellius, Luymes)

2 Training ships
1 Van Kinsbergen class
(Van Kinsbergen)

1 Urania class (sailing)

27 Medium/Small Landing crafts
5 L9525 LCU Mk2
(L9525, L9526, L9527, L9528, L9529) All crafts of these class have been upgraded. This upgrade meant enlarging the vessels and increasing their payload (enabling the craft to transport the Royal Netherlands Army's Leopard 2 A6).

12 LCVP Mk5c
Built by Visser Shipyard in Den Heler in 2009-2010

4 LCVP Mk3
(L9537, L9538, L9540, L9541). 2 others (L 9536, 9539 were retired by January 2010)

6 LCVP Mk2
(L9530, L9531, L9532, L9533, L9534, L9535)

18 Tugs and others harbor ships
5 Linge class large tugs.
(Linge, Regge, Hunze, Rotte, Gouwe)

2 Breezand class harbor tugs
(Breezand, Bergzand)

5 Schelde class harbor working boats
(Schelde, Wierbalg, Malzwin, Zuidwal, Westwal)

1 Patria class inshore tanker

1 Nieuwediep class touring boat

2 harbor vessels
(Y8200, Y8300)

1 Jonge Jan class harbor vessel
(Jonge Jan)

1 Jonge Prins class harbor vessel
(Jonge Prins)

Small crafts
29 Fast Raiding, Interception and Special Forces Craft
(11 for Special Operation use, 12 for use in the Dutch territories in the Caribbean and 6 to use in combination with the new Holland Class OPV's).

17 Fast raiding, Interception and special forces craft
(for use as small landing crafts).

Dutch Squadron for the Netherlands Antilles
1 Pelikaan logistic support vessel (amphibious & diving operations and transport), 1100+ tons, 65 meters, commissioned by 2006

3 patrol cutters
(Jaguar, Panter, Poema)

Naval helicopters (+/- 900 personnals)
10 SH-14 D Lynx still operationnal due to life prolonging maintenance (21-24 initially delivered by late 1970's-late 1980's).

Up to 12 NH-90 NFH
Expected to replace all ageing Lynx helico. All operationnal by 2015.

Dutch Marine Corps (+/- 3000 troops)
Armored vehicles
156 BV206S (127 will get a Mid-Life Update, the rest will be disposed of or sold).
74 BVS10.
20 XA-188 (11 to be sold to Estonia, the rest will be disposed of or sold).
4 Leopard 1 BARV beach armored recovery vehicles.

Unarmored vehicles
Land Rover Defender
40 Mercedes-Benz 280 CDI
17 Unimog 1.2-ton truck
Various DAF trucks

Artillery (Mortars)
60mm (Brandt MO-60-V); 81mm (L16A2); 120mm (RT-120).

The Dutch Fleet now has a reduced size. This allows to have a maximum of 1 or 2 large warships (Destroyers/Frigates/OPV) constantly in overseas ops (a NATO requirement ?). But this size corresponds to the importance of this country in this world.

Next fleet review/editorial: Future of the German Navy.

As usual, It may be that in my opinion, I forgot programs ? (or made few mistakes ?), then said it ! Feel free to comment and give your opinion !


  1. Actually we have four submarines in service, not three. They are:
    * S802 Walrus
    * S803 Zeeleeuw
    * S808 Dolfijn
    * S810 Bruinvis

    The fourth submarine is not in reserve, but is under long maintenance due to its Midlife-Update. Also, not enough crew is available to fully occupy that fourth submarine, but officially they are all four in service.

  2. Why do they not include some kind of air independent propulsion in this mid-life update of the Walrus class?

  3. Mike, the Netherlands still has commitments in the Caribbean (protection of the Netherlands Antilles and prevention of drug smuggling) which require the presence of 1 surface combatant. In addition 1 ship will constantly be on NATO duties (e.g. anti-piracy patrol or other tasks). So, yes, 2 ships will always be away.

  4. @ Ralph.D

    @ P.N:
    Maybe a too expensive "mid-life update" or maybe the 1970's/1980's hull design were too short/small to receive this system (except a additional plug-hull = a very expensive mid-life update for a 20+ year old SSK hull) ?

  5. Hi Mike, you can probably redo your entire post, because:

    The minister of Defence Hans Hillen made the upcomming budget cuts public today they will cut a total of 1 billion euro and will include:
    - The navy will go from 10 to 6 minehunters.
    - The navy will not commission 2 of the 4 Holland Class Patrol Vessels.
    - The HNLMS Zuiderkruis will be decomissioned in 2011 instead of 2013.
    - HLNSM Amsterdam will be in service up to 2014, and will be replaced bythe Joint Support Ship ''Karel Doorman''.
    - The Army will take close down 2 Tank- batallions.
    - The number of Artillery will be decreased, Pzh2000 + 120 mm mortars.
    - The Engineers will be decreased
    - The Army Air defence will be decreased and Medium range Anti Tank capacity on the Fenneks will be less.
    - The army will decrease its units in the GER-NL Corps.
    - The airforce will go from 87 to 68 F16's.
    - All 17 Cougar Helicopters will be out of service.
    - The 3rd ordered DC-10 will not come in to service.
    - Two Air defence platoons and one patriot battery will be taken out of service.
    - The Militairy police will cancel the new built patrol ship for the province of zeeland.
    - The number of generals (119) will be decreased to 80.
    - 1000 civil cars will be sold.

    Sad days for the Dutch military...