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HNLMS De Zeven Provincien successfully fires two RIM-162 ESSM


According to a tweet published by the U.S. Sixth Fleet on May 20, 2021, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F802) engages a subsonic target with two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) during At Sea Demo exercise.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën class firing two RIM-162 ESSM (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield is a U.S. Sixth Fleet-led exercise, conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), in which NATO Allies are the participants.

The De Zeven Provinciën class is a modern class of destroyers of Dutch origin. The Dutch navy classifies them as frigates, although internationally their displacement and weapons suite categorize their destroyers. They were developed to replace the two Tromp class air defense frigates and two more were ordered to replace two Korternaer class multipurpose frigates.

The design of the ships was developed from scratch. The hull design is shared with the German Sachsen class. The design is modern and features a reduced radar signature shape. The main gun and VLS are mounted at the front. The forward superstructure houses the bridge and APAR radar system. The engines and Harpoon missiles are mounted in the middle. The hanger with the SMART-L radar on top and the helicopter deck is located at the rear.

As an air defense frigate, it features a wide range of surface-to-air missiles. The Mk 41 VLS is fitted with quad packs of short-range Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles and medium-range Standard SM-2MR missiles and SM-3 missiles against ballistic missiles. Against surface targets, the subsonic Harpoon missile or the 127mm OTO Melara cannon are used. Plans to fit Tomahawk IV have been shelved. Two double Mk 32 torpedo launchers for Mk 46 torpedoes are fitted amidships. Additionally, two 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS systems and two 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine guns are mounted for self-defense.

The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft.