HNLMS Van Amstel is on his way to the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). The ship, with an NH90 maritime attack helicopter on board, just left the port of Den Helder. SNMG1 is one of the 4 rapidly deployable NATO fleets. They are permanently available for alliance assignments.

NATO has activated the rapid deployment fleets after the invasion of Ukraine to show that they are ready. Moreover, by participating in SNMG1 and practicing together, NATO countries at sea remain well attuned to each other. The SNMG1 fleet is available 24/7 and can be deployed immediately if NATO requests it.

SNMG1 consists of warships from various NATO countries and operates in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Among other things, the group conducts exercises and visits various ports to maintain diplomatic ties. This year, Germany is in command of the SNMG1.

Van Amstel specializes in anti-submarine warfare. The ship is suitable for this because of the sonar system that the specialists can use on board. This so-called Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) is an innovative and unique low-frequency sonar . This can be brought to the desired depth with a long cable. Van Amstel is one of the few frigates within NATO that are equipped with this. Anti-submarine warfare is indispensable in maritime operations and will continue to play a major role in the future. Enemy submarines can pose a danger to modern society, for example by causing unprecedented damage to ships or infrastructure at sea or on the seabed.