The Netherlands and Belgium jointly purchase multipurpose frigates and mine control vessels. On June 8th, Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten and her Belgian colleague Steven Vandeput take the next step with the signing of 2 Memoranda of Understanding. This happened in the margins of the 2-day NATO meeting that took place in Brussels since yesterday.
The government recently announced that it replaced the M-frigates and mine-fighting vessels. Belgium takes the lead in the purchase of the 12 mine-fighting vessels, of which 6 for the Netherlands, and the associated unmanned systems. The Netherlands takes the lead in the purchase of the M-frigates. As a leading party, it concludes a contract for 4 frigates, 2 of which for Belgium.
Bijleveld: “You have to be able to count on the neighbors if you want to keep the neighborhood safe. And the Netherlands is very happy with such southern neighbors. Our cooperation is good. Very well. We look back on decades of cooperation between our armed forces. In the field of missions, maintenance, cross-border logistics and air monitoring, and training and training of our staff. ”
2025 in service
The Defense organization applies for offers without competition to Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Thales Netherlands. This happens with the frigates with a view to national security. Belgium does grant the mines fighters European. The first Dutch frigates and mine fighters are expected to enter service in 2025.
The current M-frigates are almost the same in terms of configuration and operations, and the same applies to mine-control vessels. This makes it possible for both countries to divide the maintenance among themselves. This provides a considerable saving.
The signing was originally planned for 29 May during the so-called Thalassa consultations in Brussels. This consultation between the Dutch and Belgian governments is intended to further strengthen cooperation. However, this meeting was canceled because of the attack in Liège.