On the occasion of the Euronaval exhibition, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have agreed on a cooperation aimed at promoting synergies and mutual benefits with regard to national mine warfare capabilities. The objective is thus to increase the effectiveness of their respective programs and to strengthen the interoperability of their national mine warfare systems.

This agreement was formalized on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 during a meeting between representatives of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), the Directorate General of Material Resources (DGMR) and the Netherlands Defense Materials Organization (DMO), respectively the general engineer of the armaments hors class Gael Diaz de Tuesta, the lieutenant-general Frederic Goetynck and the vice-admiral Arie Jan De Waard.

France has notably confirmed its decision to launch the design of French mine warfare vessels on the basis of that of the vessels of the binational Belgian-Dutch rMCM program. Thus, nations share the goals of maximizing design communities to create opportunities for specific joint in-service support and other joint activity related to mine warfare capabilities.

The French ships should be ordered in 2023, with a delivery date under discussion, via the SLAM-F program. For their part, the ships of the Belgian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy rMCM should be delivered from 2024.

Building on 30 years of cooperation in the field of Tripartite-class minehunters, France, Belgium and the Netherlands now reaffirm their desire to increase their integration and effectiveness in the MCM field. They also recognize that this cooperation in this area remains more necessary than ever to meet the challenges of tomorrow and strengthen European defense capabilities.