“Today we conclude a long period of development, design, construction and trials. Many professional hands have contributed to the realisation of this outstanding ship.” Those were the words of the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, in Den Helder on November 29 at the commissioning ceremony for the patrol vessel Groningen.
This fourth and last of the Ocean-going Patrol Vessels (OPVs) is now also designated ‘His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship’ (HNLMS). Guest of honour at the ceremony was the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen. She christened the ship at the launch in 2011.
HNLMS Groningen is part of the Holland class of ship, along with the Holland, Friesland and Zeeland. The type was declared ‘Ship of the Year’ on account of its innovative mast construction with integrated radar, antenna and camera systems. These advanced technologies allow the ship to be sailed by a small crew.
Borsboom: “With fewer people on board, we can carry out a more cost-efficient active operational programme.”
The patrol vessels are flexible and can be deployed around the globe: from counterpiracy and counterdrug operations to coastguard tasks. They can carry a helicopter and they have 2 FRISC speedboats on board.
Press Release, December 6, 2013; Image: Dutch Navy