“Minehunter” of the Royal Netherlands Navy
Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced the creation of a “ship coalition” in support of Ukraine.
The Netherlands and Belgium will give Ukraine two minesweepers. Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov announced the creation of a “ship coalition” in support of our country, which already includes three countries.
The transfer of the ships was announced by the head of the Dutch defense department Kaisa Ollongren on March 14 during a meeting with Reznikov in Odessa. True, it is expected that Ukraine will receive boats only in 2025, since it is in a year and a half that they will be removed from service in the Netherlands. But training on the operation of these ships for Ukrainian sailors will start this year.
“We understand the strategic and economic importance of the ports in Odessa for food imports for trade, and this of course has a connection with the rest of the world. The Netherlands is providing two Alkmaar class minehunters and we will start training Ukrainian units so that they know how to use these ships,” Ollongren said.
“The issue of demining the Black Sea will not be resolved with the end of the war, so these minesweepers are a contribution to the future of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” she added.
Ollongern also announced the transfer of an amphibious military vehicle to Ukraine to create temporary water crossings.
Alkmaar is a class of minesweepers developed jointly by Belgium, France and the Netherlands based on the French Circe-class minesweepers. A total of 35 ships were built for their fleets in the 1980s and 1990s. The main purpose of these boats is to detect, classify and destroy naval mines.
All three countries built their own hulls, with each being responsible for different aspects of the ships. France provided mine detection systems and electronic systems, the Netherlands provided the main propulsion systems, and Belgium supplied a mine search propulsion system and electrical generator sets, Militarny said.
In the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Alkmaar-class minehunters were originally designed similarly to the Belgian and French versions with a standard displacement of 520 tons, but the displacement was later increased to 571 tons and later to 630 tons.
For the minesweepers of the Netherlands, the originally planned 20 mm guns were removed, leaving only three 12.7 mm machine guns. The ship’s crew includes 4 officers, 15 privates and 17 sailors.
Beginning in 2003, “mine hunters”, as these ships are known, have been upgraded with advanced electronics, including the Atlas Elektronik INCMS naval tactical data system. Thales 2022 Mk III sonar and ROV Atlas Seafox and Double Eagle Mk III Mod 1 detection and neutralization systems were also installed.
“The ships that are planned to be sent to Ukraine underwent a deep modernization in the first decade of the 2000s to update their capabilities, are in excellent condition and are currently performing tasks as intended,” the Ukrainian Navy said.
Oleksiy Reznikov during a meeting in Odessa announced the creation of a “ship coalition” in support of Ukraine, which already includes Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium.
“Now there is a trend towards the creation of certain coalitions in the interests of Ukraine. There was a tank coalition, before that an air coalition. Now a naval coalition is emerging. Thanks to today’s announcement of the Netherlands on the provision of minesweepers (mine hunters), we can essentially say that a naval coalition is being created,” – he said.
The Minister also recalled that the UK has already handed over two minesweepers, on which Ukrainian crews are already officially located and the flag of the Navy of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been raised.
“At least three countries (plus Belgium) are already part of the naval coalition,” Reznikov said.
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