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Dutch Navy Landing Platform Dock Amphibious Ship And Frigate to Visit Dublin Port

18th January 2018
Royal Netherlands Navy landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious ship HNLMS Johan de Witt and a frigate is to pay a visit to Dublin Port over the weekend.  Above: The LPD is seen on a previous call in recent years when approaching the port while in the shipping channel in Dublin Bay. Note at the stern, the landing well-dock's ramp. Royal Netherlands Navy landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious ship HNLMS Johan de Witt and a frigate is to pay a visit to Dublin Port over the weekend. Above: The LPD is seen on a previous call in recent years when approaching the port while in the shipping channel in Dublin Bay. Note at the stern, the landing well-dock's ramp. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#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.

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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