Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate replaces Dutch and Belgian M-class frigate

The Netherlands and Belgium together replace their M-frigates (multipurpose). It has now become known what the new ship class will be called Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (ASWF).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Belgian and Dutch new ship class will be called Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (ASWF). (Picture source: Dutch MoD)

The ship class will consist of 2 Belgian and 2 Dutch frigates. Detecting and fighting submarines will be the main task. The frigates are equipped to do this in the threat environment of the future. The so-called information warfare plays a prominent role in this. Think of cyber and intelligence. This is in line with the Defense Vision 2035.

It is common practice in the Dutch and Belgian navies to classify ship classes based on their task. The names of the four ships are not yet known.

The new ships will receive the latest anti-submarine warfare techniques and robust self-defense against surface threats. There is also extensive automation in order to be able to do business operations with a limited basic crew. Discussions about the specifications of the systems that Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Thales will supply are in full swing.

Available in 2030

The replacement process goes through the so-called A, B and D phases. In 2018, the A letter with the requirement was sent to the Lower House. The B letter about the study phase was delivered in 2020. There has now been formal permission to continue with the acquisition preparation (the D phase).

The Netherlands, in close consultation with Belgium, is in charge of the replacement process. The Defense Materiel Organization will realize the acquisition with the Royal Netherlands Navy and Belgian colleagues. By 2030, the 4 ASW frigates must be available for both navies.

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