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Royal Netherlands Navy
Koninklijke Marine
Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy jack
Founded 1488
Country  Netherlands
Allegiance Netherlands and NATO
Branch Navy
Size 4 frigates (Destroyers), 2 Frigates, 2 landing platform docks, 4 submarines, 10 mine hunters, 4 support ships and various others for grand total of 55. circa 10000 man personnel
Headquarters Den Helder
Engagements Eighty Years' War
Dutch-Portuguese War
Anglo-Dutch Wars
War of Spanish Succession
War of the Quadruple Alliance
World War II
Commandant Zeestrijdkrachten Lieutenant General R.L. Zuiderwijk
Vice-commander Schout-bij-Nacht W. Nagtegaal,
Michiel de Ruyter, Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp, Jan van Speyk, Karel Doorman

The Koninklijke Marine (Royal Netherlands Navy ) is the navy of the Netherlands.



The main naval base is Den Helder, Noord Holland. Secondary naval bases are in Amsterdam, Vlissingen, Texel and Willemstad (Curaçao). Marine barracks are in Rotterdam, Doorn, Suffisant on Curaçao, and Savaneta on Aruba.

Service academy

The Royal Netherlands Naval College is the service academy of the Royal Netherlands Navy.


Dutch Golden Age

The Dutch navy has a long history. It was involved in many wars against other European powers since the late 16th century, initially for independence against Spain in European waters, later for shipping lanes, trade and colonies in many parts of the world, notably in four Anglo-Dutch wars against England and the United Kingdom.

World War II

The HNLMS Java in c. 1941

During the Second World War, the Dutch navy was based in Allied countries after the Netherlands were conquered by Nazi Germany in a matter of days: the Dutch navy had its headquarters in London and smaller dependencies in Sri Lanka and Australia.

Around the world Dutch naval units were responsible for troop transport, for example during Operation Dynamo in Dunkirk and D-Day, they escorted convoys and attacked enemy targets. During the war the navy suffered heavy losses, especially in defending the Dutch East Indies, most notably the Battle of the Java Sea in which the commander, Dutchman Karel Doorman, went down with his ships together with 1000 of his crew.

After the war, the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies changed dramatically. The establishment of the Republic of Indonesia, 2 days after the Japanese surrender, thwarted the Dutch plans for restoring colonial authority. It took 4 years of war before the Netherlands acknowledged the independence of Indonesia. The Dutch navy was stationed in Papua until it was turned over to the Indonesians in 1962, because the action from the Military of Indonesia, supported by the modern military equipments from Soviet Union, as the order of President Sukarno to integrate it into as one of Indonesian provinces.

NATO cooperation

The Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 in 2007 with the HNLMS Evertsen second from the right

With the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the military focus was on the army and air force; it was not until the Korean War (1950-1953) that the navy got more recognition. The government allowed the creation of a balanced fleet consisting of 2 naval squadrons. Apart from the aircraft carrier Hr. Ms. Karel Doorman the Dutch navy consisted of 2 cruisers (2 De Zeven Provinciën class), 12 destroyers (4 Holland class, 8 Friesland class), 8 submarines, 6 frigates (van Speijk class frigates) and a large number of minesweepers.

As a NATO member the Netherlands developed its security policy in close cooperation with other members. The establishment of the Warsaw pact in 1955 intensified the arms race between West and East. Technical innovations rapidly emerged, the introduction of radar and sonar were followed by nuclear weapon systems and long-range missiles. The geopolitical situation allowed for a fixed military strategy. From 1965 onwards the Netherlands joined certain permanent NATO squadrons like the Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

Current structure

The constituent parts of the Royal Netherlands Navy are:

Naval squadron

Contains all surface combatants, replenishment ships and amphibious support ships.

Submarine service

Contains the submarines and a support vessel.

Mine Detection and Clearing Service

Contains various minehunters.

Hydrographical Survey

Contains ships which map the oceans.

Naval Air Service

  • 2 helicopter squadrons

Netherlands Marine Corps

  • 1 Brigade (MTC: Mariniers Training Commando (formerly known as GOEM: Groep Operationele Eenheden Mariniers) consisting of 4 battalions
    • 2 operational marine battalions (MARNSBAT1,2)
    • 1 amfibious combat support battalion (AMFGEVSTBAT)
    • 1 Amphibious Logistical battalion (AMFLOGBAT)

1 rifle company (32 Infcoy) is permanently stationed at Aruba

Coast Guard

Although the Coast Guard is not an official part of the Navy, it is under its operational control.


The Royal Netherlands Navy currently operates 7 main classes of vessels:

Class Type Number Dates Details
De Zeven Provinciën Frigate 4 2002 Mainly Anti-air warfare, ASh, ASW
Karel Doorman class Frigate 2 1994 Multipurpose tasks
Zuiderkruis class Replenishment 1 1975 Fleet support/replenishing (to be replaced in 2015)
Amsterdam class Replenishment 1 1995 Fleet support/replenishing
Alkmaar class Minehunter 10 1989 Minehunting/Minesweeping (combined) upgraded in 2009-2011
Walrus class Submarine 4 1994 Diesel-electric powered hunter-killer submarines for deep ocean operations
Rotterdam class Landing Platform Dock 2 1998/2007 Troop & helicoper transport

The constituent Equipment of the Royal Netherlands Navy are:

Surface combatants

Amphibious assault ships

  • 2 landing platform dock (LPD) / Amphibious Transport Ships


  • 4 S802 Walrus class Diesel/electric attack submarines. (currently being upgraded for operations well into the 21st Century)

Mine detection and clearing ships

  • 10 Tripartite (Alkmaar class) mine hunters
    • HNLMS Haarlem (M853)
    • HNLMS Maasluis (M856)
    • HNLMS Makkum (M857)
    • HNLMS Middelburg (M858)
    • HNLMS Hellevoetsluis (M859)
    • HNLMS Schiedam (M860)
    • HNLMS Urk (M861)
    • HNLMS Zierikzee (M862)
    • HNLMS Vlaardingen (M863)
    • HNLMS Willemstad (M862)

3 to be converted to control vessels for mine-sweep drones, 14 of which will be acquired)

  • 4 A851 Cerberus class diving support vessels.
    • HNLMS Cerberus (A851)
    • HNLMS Argus (A852)
    • HNLMS Nautilus (A853)
    • HNLMS Hydra (A854)

Support ships

  • 1 A900 Mercuur class Torpedo recovery ship
    • HNLMS Mercuur (A900)
  • 1 A804 Pelikaan logistic support vessel for the Netherlands Antilles (amphibious & diving operations and transport)
    • HNLMS Pelikaan (A804)

Hydrographical survey ships

  • 2 A802 Snellius class hydrographical survey ship.
    • HNLMS Snellius (A802)
    • HNLMS Luymes (A803)

Training ships

  • 1 A902 Van Kinsbergen class training ship
    • MOV Van Kinsbergen (A902)
  • 1 Y8050 Urania class sailing naval training vessel
    • HNLMS Urania (Y8050)

Landingcraft (Marine Corps)

  • 5 L9525 LCU Mk2 class landing craft utility
    • L9525
    • L9526
    • L9527
    • L9528
    • L9529

All ships of the L9525 LCU class have been upgraded to Mk2. This upgrade meant enlarging the vessels and increasing their payload (enabling the craft to transport the Royal Netherlands Army's Leopard 2 A6).

  • 6 L9536 LCVP Mk3 class landing craft vehicle personnel
    • L9536 (out of commission Jan 2010)
    • L9537
    • L9538
    • L9539 (out of commission Jan 2010)
    • L9540
    • L9541
  • 6 L9530 LCVP Mk2 class landing craft vehicle personnel
    • L9530
    • L9531
    • L9532
    • L9533
    • L9534
    • L9535

The 12 LCVP's will be replaced by 12 LCVP Mk5c in 2009 & 2010, build by Visser Shipyard in Den Helder with improved handling & speed.

Other ships

  • 5 A874 Linge class large tugs.
    • HNLMS Linge (A874)
    • HNLMS Regge (A875)
    • HNLMS Hunze (A876)
    • HNLMS Rotte (A877)
    • HNLMS Gouwe (A878)
  • 2 Y8018 Breezand class harbor tugs
    • HNLMS Breezand (Y8018)
    • HNLMS Bergzand (Y8019
  • 5 Y8055 Schelde class harbor working boats
    • HNLMS Schelde (Y8055)
    • HNLMS Wierbalg (Y8055)
    • HNLMS Malzwin (Y8055)
    • HNLMS Zuidwal (Y8055)
    • HNLMS Westwal (Y8055)
  • 1 Y8536 Patria class inshore tanker
    • HNLMS Patia (Y8536)
  • 1 Y8005 Nieuwediep class touring boat
    • HNLMS Nieuwediep (Y8005)
  • 2 Y8200 harbor vessels
    • Y8200
    • Y8300
  • 1 WM1-9002 Jonge Jan class harbor vessel
    • Jonge Jan (WM1-9002)
  • 1 WM1-9003 Jonge Prins 3 class harbor vessel
    • Jonge Prins 3 (WM1-9003)
  • 3 patrol cutters for the Netherlands Antilles (NAACGC Jaguar P810, NAACGC Panter P811 and NAACGC Poema P812)

Maritime helicopters

  • 21 SH-14D Lynx anti-submarine warfare helicopters
  • 20 NH-90 anti-submarine/surface warfare helicopters (being introduced)

Armored vehicles (Marine Corps)

  • 106 BV206S armored all-terrain personnel carriers
  • 74 BVS10 armored all-terrain personnel carriers
  • 20 XA-188 wheeled armored personnel carriers
  • 4 Leopard 1 BARV beach armored recovery vehicles

Unarmored vehicles (Marine Corps)

Artillery (Marine Corps)

  • RT-120 (Habé Rayé) 120mm mortars
  • L16A2 81mm mortar

Personal weapons

2012 future naval inventory

In 2012 the new fleet plan of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be completed, consisting of these ships:

Class Type Number Dates Details
De Zeven Provinciën Frigate 4 2002 Mainly Anti-air warfare, ASh, ASW
Karel Doorman class Frigate 2 1994 Multipurpose tasks
Holland Class Offshore Patrol Vessel 4 2011 Ocean patrols
Alkmaar class Minehunter 10 1989 Minehunting/Minesweeping (combined)
Amsterdam class Replenishment 1 1995 Fleet support/replenishing
Zuiderkruis class JSS Joint Support Ship 1 2014 Combined Amphibious Operations/Seabased Helicopter Platform & Fleet support/replenishing
Rotterdam class Landing Platform Dock 2 1998/2007 Troop & helicopter transport
Walrus class Submarine 4 1994 Diesel-electric powered hunter-killer submarines for deep ocean operations

The total tonnage will be approx. 140.000t. Next to these ships a lot of other smaller vessels remain in the navy like the Snellius class hydrographical survey vessels.

With these changes the Royal Netherlands Navy will have 10 large ocean going vessels ranging from medium/low to high combat action ships. The renewed Dutch Navy will be a green-water navy, having enough frigates and auxiliaries to operate far out at sea, while depending on land-based air support and with the large amphibious squadron they will have significant brown-water navy capabilities.

Future changes

  • Purchase of 4 Large Offshore Patrol Vessels Holland Class. The Dutch Ministry of Defence announced recently that these vessels will enter service a year later than planned.
  • Extensive upgrading of the 2 remaining F827 Karel Doorman class, new SEWACO systems and lay-out of the ships. After these upgrades the ships can last till 2020–2025
  • Purchase of 20 NH-90 helicopters to replace the Lynx helicopters currently in use and integration of all maritime helicopter into the Dutch Defense Helicopter Command
  • Purchase New joint support ship Zuiderkruis class JSS. The Dutch Ministry of Defence announced recently that this vessel will enter service in 2015 and be able to combine sea replenishment capabilities with the ability to act as a sea based platform in support of amphibious operations (incl. CH-47 & AH-64 Helicopters).
  • Extensive upgrading for Walrus class Submarines including new Sonar, weapons upgrades and probably AIP system for near shore operations.
  • Upgrading the Zeven Provinciën class LCF frigates Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense and considered SLCM integration.
  • Increasing the size of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. Currently, several units of the Marine Corps are being reorganized.

Theater Ballistic Missile Defense

Together with the United States and several other NATO members, the Dutch Navy is testing and updating its ships for Tactical ballistic missile Defense capability. Although tests conducted concerning the capability of the APAR (Active Phased Array Radar) have been very successful, no decision has been made by the Dutch Government in purchasing SM-3 missiles - mainly because the SM-3 is not operational yet. Four ships are being fitted out for Tactical ballistic Missile Defense. If purchased (after US export approval) the four LCFs will be fitted out with only eight SM-3 missiles each, due to the high costs for each missile (approximately $2.5 - $5 million).

Decommissioned ships

Historic ships

See also

External links

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