#DutchStealthFrigate - An air-defence and command frigate (LCF) of the Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F802) docked in Dublin Port today for a three-day visit, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Dutch Embassy in Ireland through Ambassador Schellekens has cordially invited the general public to an open viewing/tour on Saturday 12th September.
This offer should be recognised and welcomed given the berth location of the frigate is in the heart of the port rather than the more usual berthing of foreign naval ships at the more accessible city-centre location along Sir John Rogersons Quay.
The tour begins at 11am (noting, to book a place is on a first served basis and requiring private transport to reach Ocean Pier accessed via Alexandra Basin).
It is strongly advisable to bring a Photo ID and to carefully read for further instructions, (before emailing of this boarding opportunity) by clicking the Embassy link HERE.
The ‘Provinciën’ class fast-frigate (30 knots) which carries missiles is the leadship of a quartet commissioned in 2002.
She along with her sisters of 6,050 tonnes, have a striking stealth design technology in that the superstructure has sharp angular angles to reduce radar signature.
All of the frigates were built by Royal Schelde which completed the final newbuild in 2005 thus completing a programme to replace the ‘Tromp’ class and ‘Jacob van Heesmarck’ Class frigates.
The armament of the ‘Provinciën’ class, are as listed: Oto Breda 127mm cannon, Vertical Launch System (VLS) Mk 41 for Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and Standard Missile (SM), Harpoon Missile (HM), Goalkeeper (rapid-fire gun), Mk. 46 Torpedo weapon system, NH-90 helicopter.
In 2013 off the US north-east coast she carried out exercises in the firing of an ESSM, a SM and two HM’s (see video above).
On her arrival to Dublin Bay, the frigate took on a pilot from cutter Camac off Howth from where she continued on into the port approach channel.
While this was taking place, the Dublin Port tug sisters Beaufort and Shackleton were awaiting within the port fairway to carry out in assisting the berthing of the 144m long frigate alongside Ocean Pier. The berth, No. 35 is located on the fairway between the West and East of the Alexandra Basins.
Upriver beyond the East-Link toll lift bridge is where another foreign navy visitor, the German Navy sail-trainee barque Gorch Fock has graced the south quays.
The three-masted ship will also be open to the public next weekend, albeit only on the following Sunday, 13th September. For further details of “Open Ship” tours click to our previous coverage here.
Also calling to the capital during the summer was the Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth (F235), she along with her ‘Duke’ class frigates are quite regular visitors to the port.