Royal Netherlands Navy Receives “Holland” Patrol Vessel


Under the loud cheers of navy officer-candidates, the new patrol vessel of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the “Holland”, on April 6th entered its future home port of Den Helder. The Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, was there to welcome the Ocean Going Patrol Vessel (OPV), which is scheduled to carry out its first sea trial this week.

“During this so-called platform sea trial, the propulsion of the ship will be tested for the first time at sea”, explains the ship’s commander, Commander Chris van den Berg. The sea trial incorporates a number of tests ranging from an endurance test, with the ship sailing at full power for 4 hours, to testing fuel consumption, taking sound and vibrations measurements and testing the manoeuvrability of the ship. The sensor systems, the command and weapon systems, the navigation equipment, the radars and the echo sounder will be subjected to extensive tests. The “Holland” is equipped with, among other things, a 76 mm gun.

Critical customer

The various tests will be carried out by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, the shipbuilding company that built the ship based in Flushing, and the Defence Materiel Organisation. Van den Berg: “As a critical customer, we test the product at sea, where the shipbuilder is expected to demonstrate that the system does what we asked for.” Where possible, any faults are immediately remedied by the shipbuilder’s technicians. Other faults and remaining points of attention receive attention in Flushing after the test run.

Swings like a lady

Despite the customary presence of points for improvement, the commander of the new patrol ship is extremely satisfied with its sea-going qualities. “The ship manoeuvres well and the response time of the propulsion system is short. In a nautical sense, I am very happy with it.” Asked to summarise the ship’s qualities in one sentence, he laughed: “She swings like a lady”.


Baptism of fire

In addition to the propulsion system and the ship’s general systems, the living accommodation was also subjected to a severe test during the sea trial. “A total of 50 crew members and 65 ‘boarders’ turns this into a baptism of fire”, continued the commander. “Not only for the logistic service, but also for the galley, the air-conditioning system, the satellite receiver, the waste water treatment system and the water-making installation.”

Ocean Going Patrol Vessels

The “Holland” gives its name to the Holland class of vessels, a series of 4 Ocean Going Patrol Vessels in service of the Royal Netherlands Navy. These 108 metre-long ships, flexible in their deployment, are equipped for surveillance of coastal waters. In addition to new threats such as terrorism and piracy, this involves checking ships and carrying out counterdrugs operations. The “Holland” was christened by Queen Beatrix in Flushing on 2 February 2010. The ship will receive the designation ‘Her Majesty’s Ship’ (HNLMS) only after officially entering service.

Source: defensie, April 8, 2011;