The Dutch Navy will have formidable air defense frigates from 2034.

The Dutch Navy recently presented the first characteristics of the future air defense frigates which will replace, at the start of the next decade, the four De Zeven Provinciën class frigates.

Particularly well armed and equipped, these ships promise to prove to be very effective escorts, while taking into account recent lessons in this area, particularly regarding the threat of drones in the Red Sea. Just as will be, moreover, the future Dutch amphibious assault ships, presented on this same occasion.

The reconstruction of the Dutch Armies has been carried out at full speed since 2017

Most European countries have become aware of the reality of the threat posed by the evolution of Russian military capabilities, associated with the hardening of the Moscow regime, from February 2022, and the start of the Russian Special Military Operation against Ukraine, as cynically presented by the Kremlin.

F-35A Dutch Air Force
Initially for 37 aircraft, the F-35A order for the Dutch Air Force has since been increased to 52 fighter aircraft, to respond to increased operational pressure.

This was not the case in The Hague. Indeed, from 2017, following the trauma of Flight MH17 shot down by a Russian Buk missile over Ukraine, the Dutch authorities undertook to significantly increase their defense effort.

This one thus passed from 1,16% of GDP and €9 billion in 2017, to almost €23 billion for more than 2% of GDP in 2024, aiming for €31 billion and almost 2,5% of GDP in 2030, far ahead of all other Western European countries in this area.

Initially, these resources were used to finance certain key programs, such as the replacement of the F-16s with American F-35As, moving from a fleet objective of 37 aircraft initially targeted, to 52 American planes now.

In the naval field, The Hague has committed, since 2019, to the joint development, with Belgium, of 12 large mine warfare ships, six per country, to replace mine hunters tripartite.

Tripartite mine hunter national navy
Surface Ship, Tripartite Minehunter, CMT, Southern Cross M646, Boatswain, Mission Gap 09

Entrusts to the Belgian OCA, associated with the French Naval Group, this program has since been joined by France, in a repeat of the very successful program Tripartite having enabled the construction of 35 minehunters from 1981 to 1989, 10 for France and Belgium, and 15 for the Netherlands.

Concomitantly, The Hague and Brussels launched the design and construction of a new class of anti-submarine warfare frigates, two examples of which will be delivered to each Marine. Entrusted to the Dutch company Damen, construction of the ships will begin in 2025, for deliveries between 2028 and 2030.

Since then, announcements from the Dutch Ministry of Defense have multiplied, in all areas, with American cruise missiles, French Caracal helicopters, or even Swedish armored vehicles. The latest announcement caused a stir when The Hague chose Naval Group to design and build the four submarines that will replace the Walrus currently in service.

Future Dutch air defense frigates presented to parliamentarians

The replacement of the four air defense frigates of the class By Zeven Provinciën, was also launched. Having entered service from 2002 to 2005, these ships will have to leave the line during the next decade, and must therefore be designed now.

Dutch Navy frigate De seven provincial
The new Dutch frigates will replace, from 2034, the provincial De Zeven class frigates which entered service from 2002 to 2005.

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