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Dutch Navy Frigate to Visit Dublin Port This Weekend

24th November 2016
Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) was in the Aegean Sea on NATO anti people-smuggling duties and is set to visit Dublin Port this weekend Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) was in the Aegean Sea on NATO anti people-smuggling duties and is set to visit Dublin Port this weekend Photo: Royal Netherlands Navy

#DutchFrigate – A Dutch navy frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) equipped with surface and anti-submarine warfare systems is to visit Dublin Port this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 3,353 tonnes Karel Doorman-class multi-purpose frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy is calling to the capital tomorrow for the purposes of crew rest and recreation.

According to NavyToday the frigate has been part of a NATO fleet earlier this year tasked to fight against people-smugglers in the Aegean Sea.

Launched in 1990 at the shipyard Koninklijke Schelde Groep in Vlissingen, HNLMS Van Amstel also has air defence capability. The 122m long frigate is named after from Captain Jan van Amstel a commander of the Dutch navy during the 1650’s. The current navy has six frigates of two classes.

Earlier this month it was the turn of Cork City to receive another member of a Dutch navy in the form of ‘Walrus’ class submarine HNLMS Bruinvis. The 68m long submarine with up to 40 torpedoes had docked in the port for crew time ashore.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

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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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