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Two Dutch ships for Atalanta in 2010

(BRUSSELS2) The government proposed, on Friday, the extension of the Dutch contribution to the European anti-piracy operation Atalanta, for 2010. The Ministry of Defense offered sending two ships between mid-February and mid-June 2010 : the frigate Hr. Ms. Tromp (F-803) and the transport and landing ship Hr. Ms. Johan de Witt (L 802), as well as a naval intervention unit (available for escorts of boats and boarding operations). The Hr. Ms. Tromp will be present for two months from mid-February to mid-April 2010. Le Hr. Ms. Johan de Witt will be present until mid-June. It will serve as a flagship for the Swedes who requested assistance from the Netherlands – not having this type of ship.

Hr. Ms Tromp (photo credit: Dutch Navy)

Vessel of the De Zeven Provinciën class, the Hr. Ms. Tromp can develop a speed of 30 knots and weighs 6.000 tons. It is equipped with a cannon 127mm Oto Breda, 20mm Oerlikon machine guns, a Mk 41 vertical launch system for standard or sea-to-sea missiles and a Goalkeeper cannon. Islest served by a crew of 174 people.
Hr. Ms. Johan de Witt is of another caliber. This recent ship (built in 2006 and commissioned in 2008), weighing 15.500 tonnes and capable of reaching a speed of 19 knots, is served by a crew of 146 people. he can embark and disembark personnel and equipment on the high seas. houses a command center, a hospital and can accommodate up to 6 helicopters (Lynx, NH90, Chinook and Sea King) and 4 landing craft. It can transport a battalion of 600 soldiers and its holds can transport up to 90 armored vehicles. It is equipped with 50mm machine guns and two 30mm Goalkeeper cannons.

The Johan de Witt (photo credit: Dutch navy)

The extension of the participation of the Netherlands must still be approved by the 2nd chamber. The review should be positive. But the deputies want an in-depth study of the government proposal. On the other hand, opinions are divided on sending “marines” aboard vulnerable ships. A facility supported by the right-wing parties (CDA, VVD, PVV, CU) but criticized by the left (PvDA, Greens). In any case, practical and legal difficulties arise, explained Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).