The A class was based on a German design used during the First World War. All ships of the A class were built between 1928 and 1930 at Willemsoord, Den Helder. All four ships were commissioned on 4 August 1930, and two days later, on 6 August 1930, all four sailed to the Dutch East Indies, arriving at Surabaya on 30 October 1930.
During the Japanese invasion of March 1942 all four ships were scuttled by their crews. Three of the ships, A, B and C, were salvaged and put into service with the Imperial Japanese Navy as auxiliary submarine chasers no. 113, 112 and 116, being rearmed with a single 47 mm gun, three 25 mm cannon, a 13.2 mm machine gun and eight depth charges. All were sunk by US forces in 1944–1945.
HNLMS A - Launched 19 April 1929 and completed on 4 August 1930. Sank 1 March 1942, raised by Japan and commissioned as Cha.113 on 17 January 1943. Sunk by US submarine USS Hardhead off Java on 23 June 1945.
HNLMS B - Launched 24 September 1929 and completed on 4 August 1930. Sunk 2 March 1942, raised by Japan, commissioning as Cha.112 on 20 December 1942. Sank by US Aircraft in Java Sea on 4 June 1945.
HNLMS C - Completed 4 August 1930. Sunk 6 March 1942, raised and commissioned as Japanese Cha.116 on 8 April 1943. Sank by US carrier-based aircraft west of Cavite, Luzon on 13 November 1944.