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Dutch Landing Platform Dockship and AOR Tanker to Visit Dublin Port

10th April 2014
landing platform dock ship
Royal Netherlands Navy HNMLS Johan de Witt, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship which is seen arriving into Dublin Bay. Note the stern landing dock-door.Photo Jehan Ashmore
Dutch Landing Platform Dockship and AOR Tanker to Visit Dublin Port

#LandingDockShip- HNLMS Johan de Witt (L801) an imposing yet impressive amphibious transport ship and HNLMS Amsterdam (A386) an auxiliary oil replenishment tanker of the Royal Netherlands Navy are to call to Dublin Port tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HNLMS Johan de Witt is one of two such vessels also known as Landing Platform Docks (LPD) in the Dutch Navy and she is an enhanced verion of leadship class nameship HNLMS Rotterdam (L800) which has visited the capital before. The LPD half-sisters play an integral role in supporting ships in amphibious operations.

Earlier this month both the Dublin bound vessels formed part of a flotilla involved in exercises in the Irish Sea as they proceeded northbound.

HNLMS Johan de Witt is ten metres longer at 166m of 'Rotterdam' and can handle between 6-8 landing craft and is 16,500 tonnes. She will berth at Ocean Pier berth due to her 6m draft and likewise the 17,040dwt auxiliary oil replenishent (AOR) at sea vessel, HNLMS Amsterdam which has a larger draft of 8m. She is equipped with weapons systems and has a helideck and hanger for such aircraft.

The weapons systems of HNLMS Johan de Witt are .50 mm machine guns, 2 x Goalkeeper 30 mm and helicopters of 6 Lynx, NH-90, Chinook or Sea King helicopters. She can embark 600 units compared to her sister with that of 555 units.

The LPD can cater for either Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP) or Landing Craft Utility (LCU). In addition she can transport almost any type of vehicle. As well to carrying 32 Leopard 2 tanks and approximately 90 YPR armoured tracked vehicles and Patriot air-defence systems.

She is designed to be self-sufficient for at least a month and this involves supplies on board for a complete marine battalion and the ship's company. They are equipped with operating tables, intensive-care beds, treatment rooms and an emergency hospital for 100 patients.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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