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Dutch navy switches to fast coastal patrol ships to fight piracy

By Adriana Stuijt     Dec 8, 2008 in Business
Den Helder. The Royal Dutch Navy is eager to take delivery of its first four high-speed Holland-class coastal patrol ships to combat piracy along the African coastline with.
These high-speed, very maneuverable ships are designed specifically to combat piracy and terrorism in shallow water such as the piracy-plagued African coastlines. Read piracy here: and here:
New kind of warfare requires a new kind of ship:
The Dutch navy decided two years ago that the nature of warfare had changed from conventional warfare to piracy- and terrorism, and that the more cumbersome naval frigates were not suitable for this.
Said one Dutch naval officer: "Using frigates to combat piracy is like going shopping for your daily groceries with a heavy-duty truck...' read report:
This Dutch-built patrol craft can reach an easy top speed of 22 knots and -- unlike the presently used, much more cumbersome frigates -- its multifunctional Thales radar and sonar systems are also equipped to detect movement in very shallow coastal waters, where the pirates operate the most with their speed boats.
Ordered in December last year, the four 208-metre, 3,750 tonnes craft are powered by 2 main diesel engines of 5400 kW each and electric engines for low-speed operations.
They are being built under a 400m Euro contract at the Schelde Naval Shipbuilding yards in Flushing and Damen Shipyard Galati in Romania. The first keel for the naval patrol vessel ms Holland was laid by the Dutch defence minister Jack de Vries this week. Alas - it will take some time before the four ships can engage in combat with the increasingly aggressive, high-tech Somalian pirates: the first ship is expected to be ready only by May 2011.
These replace six older multi-purpose Dutch frigate after a Naval study revealed that faster, more flexible coastal patrol ships would be much more suitable to combat terrorism and piracy.
The vessels each accommodates 50 crew and up to 40 other naval personnel such as helicopter crew and medical teams. It can also take on 100 evacuees if needed. It has some seriously nasty military hardware on board - a 76mm, a 27mm gun and two automatic medium calibre gun systems. Two large RHIB's and one NH-90 helicopter can be launched from the patrol ship.
More about Dutch navy switches, Smaller coastal patrol, Combat piracy