Belgium, Netherlands team up on frigate, minehunter replacement

Belgium is joining the Netherlands in a naval acquisition that will see both countries invest around two billion euros for the replacement of M-frigates and Tripartite-class minehunters.

As the Belgian news site VRT Deredactie reports, both countries will get two new frigates and six new mine warfare ships.

Belgium will be in charge of the acquisition of minehunters while the Netherlands will acquire the frigates.

According to the report, the countries’ defense ministers are expected to sign an acquisition agreement later this month.

The new frigates that the countries are to acquire will be optimised for anti-submarine warfare.

The Belgian and Dutch Navy operate two multi-purpose or Karel Dorman-class frigates each. The Netherlands initially operated eight vessels in the class. Between 2004 and 2006, six of the eight ships were sold to the navies of Belgium, Chile and Portugal.

The new frigates and minehunters are expected to start entering service from the mid-2020s.