A few years ago it was decided to keep the air defense and command frigates (LCF) longer in service. For this it is necessary to adapt or replace certain systems. The ships thus remain safe, seaworthy and operationally relevant. State Secretary Christophe van der Maat reported this June 16th.

For many systems, the supply of spare parts stops or the software ages. That is why investments are made in replacement. These are general systems such as cooling installations, hoisting equipment, boilers and fire alarm systems. But also for smaller electronic systems such as navigation radars, electro-optical systems and radio systems. Networks and computer systems are also covered by the project.

Two of the four LC frigates are also an operational improvement. These are the first frigates to leave service. This happens in 2032 and 2033. It had previously been decided not to supply these ships with the new ESSM Block 2 air defense missile. They retain the ESSM Block 1 missiles. They now get one software-adjustment for better performance. The frigates are thus more resistant to modern threats.

The modifications and replacements are largely made between 2024 and 2029, if the frigates undergo major maintenance. The ships are expected to be out of service for a year and a half during that period.

Defense wants to make maximum use of existing contracts and suppliers when acquiring. The project involves between €50 million and €250 million.