Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate Peter Willemoes to reinforce NATO forces

According to information published by the Danish MoD on January 13, 2021, Denmark is adding the frigate Peter Willemoes to NATO's standing naval force and four F-16 fighter jets for air surveillance and protection of the air space in the Baltics.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate Peter Willemoes (Picture source: Danish MoD)

This is done to help ensure that NATO has the necessary capabilities at its disposal in the current security situation in Ukraine.

After consulting with the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee, the government has decided to include the Peter Willemoes and four F-16 fighter jets in NATO missions in the Baltics and Northern Europe.

Russia's military build-up at Ukraine's borders and its tough stance towards NATO have prompted NATO headquarters to request member-state commitments in December to ensure that the alliance has the necessary capabilities at its disposal.

The Danish frigate will strengthen one of NATO's standing naval forces, Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), and the four F-16 fighter jets will help maintain sovereignty in NATO airspace over the Baltics. The frigate Peter Willemoes is ready for deployment from mid-January and the four F-16 fighter jets at the end of this month.

Denmark often provides forces for similar tasks, but these are two additional force contributions. In doing so, Denmark is helping to ensure that NATO has the necessary forces at its disposal to deter enemy forces from invading the Alliance's territory at a time when the situation in Ukraine may threaten stability in Europe.

Since the Peter Willemoes was already at high readiness and configured for NATO's reaction forces in 2022, it was capable of deployment at such short notice.

The SNMG1 usually operates in the Baltic Sea as well as the northern and eastern Atlantic. The Peter Willemoes will be part of the force until the end of April.

HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362) is an Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate in the Royal Danish Navy. The ship is named after Peter Willemoes, a 17th-century Danish officer. She was laid down on 12 March 2009 and launched on 21 December 2010 by Odense Steel Shipyard, Odense. Commissioned on 21 June 2011.

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