Amphibious Transport Ships to Replace Dutch Landing, Patrol Vessels

The Netherlands has announced an investment to acquire six Amphibious Transport Ships as replacements for its large landing ships (LPDs) and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

Costing between 1 and 2.5 billion euros ($1.1 to $2.7 billion), the project will replace the navy’s HNLMS Rotterdam and HNLMS Johan de Witt in service since the early 2000s, and the marine corps’ entire Holland-class fleet of four vessels commissioned in 2012-13.

The LPDs are currently used for amphibious deployments, while the OPVs are operational in low-risk military missions.

Efficient Ship Class

The Dutch Ministry of Defence wrote that the contract for the new ships is being worked on to meet the older vessels’ retirement at the end of the decade.

By 2032, the government expects to receive the first Amphibious Transport Ship and the remaining platforms in the following years.

Potential integrations for these future vehicles include helicopter pads, hoisting and crane mechanisms, as well as modular accommodation spaces.

210830-N-PC065-3195CARIBBEAN SEA (Aug. 30, 2021) The Holland-class offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Holland (P840) sails near the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) in the Caribbean Sea in support of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) humanitarian mission, Aug. 30, 2021. Arlington is deployed to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) efforts in Haiti following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake Aug. 14, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Bellino/Released)
Netherlands Marine Corps’ Holland-class offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Holland. Photo: ass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Bellino/US Navy

“Modern amphibious doctrine calls for light, rapid and dispersed action, with light logistical support,” the ministry said.

“The new generation of ships is therefore smaller in size than the current LPDs. This could, for example, lead to multiple Amphibious Transport Ships being deployed simultaneously.”

“The OPVs, on the other hand, are not currently designed for tasks high on the violence spectrum. Due to the deteriorated international security situation, the navy needs ships that are suitable for war conditions.”

Upkeep Project

Meanwhile, additional plans are being made to maintain the operability of older ships until their replacements fill their roles.

“According to the current planning, this applies to the last acquisition in 2038. That is actually just too late for the Rotterdam,” the defense agency stated.

“The ship will reach its end of life in 2028. Defense is therefore examining what measures are necessary to keep the ship in service until at least 2032.”

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