The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (Ministerie van Defensie), Damen and Thales have signed a contract for the design, construction and delivery of four Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) Frigates, with the first of these war ships will be operational in 2029. 

The ASW Frigates will serve as successors to the Karel Doorman class frigates in both the Belgian and the Royal Netherlands Navy, thus making this a true European cooperation.

Featuring hybrid-electric propulsion, the vessels will be able to sail as silently as possibly to avoid detection by submarines. A long series of sophisticated (underwater) sensors and weapons systems give the men and women serving on the ASW frigates the means to counter not only submarines but also surface and air threats.

Thales will deliver the Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) fire control cluster, a cutting-edge warfare suite that helps the ship’s crew to counter and neutralise high-velocity and complex saturation attacks by continuously analysing and optimising the tactical environment and deployment of resources. This integrated radar and fire control system combines the information from several sensors, including radars.

The new sensor suite uses Thales’ latest technology based on the APAR Block 2 X-band and the SM400 Block 2 S-band radars integrated in a one-radar system that is able to reconfigure its tasks dynamically.

The agreement for the new frigates was signed on board the Damen-built HNLMS Karel Doorman by Dutch State Secretary of Defence, Christophe van der Maat, Damen CEO, Arnout Damen, Damen Naval MD, Roland Briene, and Thales Netherlands CEO, Gerben Edelijn.

The signing ceremony was held during the first day of the Sail and Marinedagen event in the city of Den Helder, Netherlands.

Photo credit: Thales