Why then talk of a “navy decade”?

In the latest blog I went into details of the material project of the JSF an it’s “related’ projects which first were part of the JSF project and it’s budget…. Why does the RNLN expect a “navy” decade? As you can see, I have my questions about this, but ofcourse I would like to give my views on it as well.

The  the glorious navy decade to come!


The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is planning the replacement of its mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels, its M-Frigates and replacement of its four Walrus class submarines.

The replacements for the M-Frigate are scheduled to be delivered between 2024 and 2029 with the first two to be sent to the Netherlands. The project began two years ago with requirements and specifications completed and the new frigates will be optimised for anti-submarine warfare.

Models of the frigate designs shown during the presentation, revealed ships between 4,500 and 6,000 tonnes.

Some of the RNLN’s weapon systems are also scheduled for upgrade or renewal. Hofkamp said that the replacement of the Harpoon ship missile system will begin shortly, while the Netherlands is also looking into a new torpedo defence system for 2024 and beyond.

The MCM vessels will incorporate more unmanned systems, as is the trend with the renewal of MCM platforms.

‘We will build a ship to operate with all that unmanned gear… and launch and recover it up to sea state three or four,’ said the captain.

It is likely that the MCM vessels will be equipped with two USVs, up to 15m in length, and Hofkamp said the vessel itself will be around 80-90m.

The requirements for the MCM have been completed and the project is now in the specifications phase.

The nation is also looking at a fast replacement for its combat support ship with a new design. ‘We need it quick,’ said Hofkamp, ‘It should be in the water around 2022.’

Nice to read about the new frigates, But I am not satisfied with only two! I believe that we need more but standard frigates. Knowing the navy they will try to create the best of the best – solution ) with more emphasis on “quality” than the need for quantity. Maybe because they feel that getting cheaper but more vessels wouldn’t be politically possible.. but then I say, it’s their task to make clear there is a need for it.  What I mean here is that we buy good ships but of a standardized design and use a modular approach to sensor and weapon systems (like stanflex). Why the large ships isn’t really clear to me.. they say it’s because of the endurance end so one. But I believe there is the need to think big, and ofcourse, if we can’t buy a lot of ships then the admirals want bigger ships to command….. (no I’m not sure if this is serious, but seeing some behaviors of certain people.. I can imagine this is the real reason) My preference would be to buy enough ships (son indeed I would buy more ships, because we need that capability and you can’t be on two places at the same time😊.

I would opt for a standard frigate design from Damen Shipyards and not the more expensive “self-designed” and developed ship + command system) although I know that the navy will do it as they always did. They often even use the argument of being lead customer.. and that it has good influence on the export for our industry.. It’s a sort of fake argument.. if you want to improve exports of Damen vessels.. well then buy the ships you want to put on offer. Never there has been an export order for LCF, OPV, JSS and even the LPD’s weren’t sold (only identical designs to the UK…)  The only thing you develop with a launching customership is proving technology, but that could have been done with a standard Damen design as well. So if you want to make use of these argument then buy good designs of the shelf (but ofcourse custom made to our wishes):


Mine countermeasure and coastal operations

I am very interested in the ideas about this new MCM vessels. The idea to use bigger “mothership” concepts is great to read. DutchForce21 also uses this concept. As you may know DutchForce21 has the same ideas for years.. in the concept of Netherlands Coastal Operations Command (NLCOC). This command will be capable set-up of task specific units mainly for national tasks. The NLCOC will also have a mobile staff the Netherlands Coastal Operations Squadron (NLCOS). This staff capability will be able, just like NLMARFOR, to command national and international units. My idea will be to modernize the OPV’s and use them as command and support vessels for this purpose. Later more about this.

I am very interested to learn what kind of Harpoon replacement they have in mind. Maybe the RNLN can hook up with the Swedish navy, because they seek a replacement for their current RBS15 missiles as well. If possible I would like to see a future anti ship missile with land-attack capability and if possible being also integrated on frigates, Submarines and fighters (GripenE has anti ship missiles integrated already but I would also love to see new Maritime patrol aircraft.) What I am very happy about is the new Combat Support Ships…


Speaking of that task our par-time Combat Support ship (JSS Karel Doorman) is finally sailing again. Hooray! Going now to the topic of new Combat Support Ships.



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