#NavalVisits – One of the biggest Royal Netherlands Navy ships and a frigate is to visit Dublin Port, so to enable crew members time-off in addition to carrying out diplomatic and trade functions, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Rotterdam-class HNLMS Johan de Witt, a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warfare ship is of 16,500 displacement tonnes. The LPD ship is the second largest unit of the fleet and is named after a key figure in Dutch politics during the mid-17th century. This was a time when Dutch sea trade was notably flourishing and expanding on a world-wide stage that made the United Provinces a leading European power during the Dutch Golden Age.
As for the second naval visitor to the Irish capital, this will be a De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertson. The pair are to arrive tomorrow and remain in port over the weekend.
Afloat contacted the Dutch Embassy as to the purpose of the visit which said it would provide rest and recreation time for crew members. In addition to hosting on board receptions for members of the Diplomatic Corps as well as local Dutch businesses. The embassy added that unfortunately due to insufficient time, neither naval vessels will be open to the public.
The 166m HNLMS Johan de Witt can transport army troops along with associated vehicles and dispatch landing craft from the stern located landing well-dock. Above decks, helicopters can also be deployed from a hanger and use of two landing spots. In addition the LPD is equipped with a hospital featuring an operation theatre and intensive care facilities.
A sister of HNLMS Johan de Witt, the leadship of the namesake class HNLMS Rotterdam, have together previously paid a visit to Dublin. The leadship built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipyards was commissioned in 1998, whereas HNLMS Johann de Wit was constructed overseas in 2007 on the banks of the Danube in Galati, Romania. Another notable difference is that the leadship weighs in at a smaller 12,750 displacement tonnes.
Accompanying the LPD will be a De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertson of 6,050 displacement tonnes which was also completed by the same Dutch yard group. The 144m frigate has among armaments Goalkeeper guns and Sea Sparrow missiles. A helicopter can also be carried with flight crew joining a crew compliment of 174.
It is almost a year ago since a pair of these frigate class sisters paid a call to the capital following a major UK led naval exercise ‘Joint Warrior’ that involved other European navies.
As for the Dutch Navy, all of their ships have the prefix HNLMS (His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship) which are under the command of Commodore Ludger Brummelaar. On 1st January this year, he was appointed as the new Chief of the Military Household of His Majesty the King.
The Commodore is the first to be promoted to the rank of rear admiral and has succeeded Major General Hans van der Louw.