Damen, Thales sign contract for four Dutch and Belgian ASW frigates

The Dutch Ministry of Defence, Damen and Thales have signed the contract for the design, construction, and delivery of four (Anti-Submarine Warfare) ASW Frigates; two for the Netherlands and two for Belgium.

The agreement was signed on HNLMS Karel Doorman by Defence State Secretary Christophe van der Maat, Damen Shipyards Group CEO Arnout Damen, Damen Naval Managing Director Roland Briene, and Thales Netherlands CEO Gerben Edelijn.

The ASW frigates are the replacements for the current Karel Doorman Class multipurpose frigates. They can be deployed for multiple tasks; however, the emphasis will be on anti-submarine warfare.

Further, the ships will have hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and will be designed to sail as quietly as possible, to avoid detection by submarines as much as possible. On board will be a comprehensive suite of sensors to detect submarines.

About the ASW Frigates

The frigates will measure 145 metres in length, with an 18-metre beam. They will have a draught of 5.5 metres at a displacement of 6,400 tonnes.

Besides, on board, there will be room for a 117-strong crew and capacity for additional personnel to sail with them.

Among other things, the ASW frigates will be equipped with an Under Water Warfare Suite (UWWS), an Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) and underwater decoys.

The ships will be armed with a 76mm gun, MK54 torpedoes, Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and the Naval Strike Missile.

The frigate can also accommodate other weapons, such as more powerful missiles and High Energy Lasers. There are also unmanned craft and aircraft on board for use on and under water as well as in the air.

The entire project is a joint operation with the Dutch Ministry of Defence, with some of the work to be carried out by the Ministry itself.

The current Multipurpose frigates of the Karel Doorman Class were built from 1985 by Damen Naval (then called Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde).

Between 1991 and 1995, eight M-class frigates were delivered, six of which were eventually sold to other countries, including two to Belgium.

With the end of the service life of these ships in sight, the Netherlands and Belgium decided to jointly replace the ships with these ASW frigates. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2029.

Source: https://www.damen.com/insights-center/news/contract-signed-for-new-anti-submarine-warfare-frigates