Belgian frigate Leopold I (F930)

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F930 leopold Zeebrugge.jpg
The F930 Leopold I, formerly the HNLMS Karel Doorman
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Karel Doorman
Namesake: Schout-bij-nacht Karel Doorman
Builder: KMS, Vlissingen (Netherlands)
Laid down: 26 February 1985
Launched: 20 April 1988
Commissioned: 31 May 1991
Decommissioned: 2006
Fate: Sold to Belgium on 22 December 2005, and transferred on 29 March 2007
Career (Belgium)
Name: F930 Leopold I
Namesake: King Leopold I of Belgium
Christened: 29 March 2007, by HM Queen Fabiola of Belgium
Acquired: Purchased on 22 December 2005, from the Royal Netherlands Navy
In service: 29 March 2007
Renamed: 29 March 2007, from HNLMS Karel Doorman to F930 Leopold I
Homeport: Zeebrugge Naval Base
Motto: Audaces Fortuna Juvat ("Fortune favours the bold"; Latin)
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class & type: Karel Doorman class frigate
Displacement: 2,800 tonnes
Length: 122.325 m (401.33 ft)
Beam: 14.37 m (47.1 ft)
Draught: 6.2 m (20 ft)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers, 70 NCO's, 60 sailors

The F930 Leopold I is a Karel Doorman-class frigate of the Naval Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. Prior to 29 March 2007, the ship was known as the HNLMS Karel Doorman (F827). It is one of the two frigates of this class that was purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy on 22 December 2005.

The F930 Leopold I is currently commanded by Frigate Captain Tanguy Botman. The rank of Frigate Captain in the Belgian Naval Component is equivalent to the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy and the United States Navy.

HNLMS Karel Doorman[edit]

The HNLMS Karel Doorman was the first ship of the Karel Doorman class of multi-purpose frigates (also known as "M-fregat" class). She was the third ship in the Royal Netherlands Navy to be named after admiral Karel Doorman, who was killed during the battle of the Java Sea. It was laid down on 26 February 1985, launched on 20 April 1988 and commissioned on 31 May 1991.

She took part in anti-drug operations in the Caribbean together with the US Navy, was part of the UN operations in the Adriatic Sea during the conflicts in the former republics of Yugoslavia, as well as various NATO exercises.

Leopold I[edit]

On 20 July 2005, the Belgian government decided to buy two of the remaining six Dutch M-class frigates to replace the two remaining frigates of the Wielingen class (Wielingen and Westdiep) currently in service with the Belgian Naval Component. On 22 December 2005, Karel Doorman and Willem van der Zaan were sold to Belgium.

The HNLMS Karel Doorman was taken out of service in 2006 and turned over to the Belgian Naval Component on 29 March 2007 when it was christened the F930 Leopold I, in honour of the first King of the Belgians, by Queen Fabiola of Belgium at the Zeebrugge Naval Base. The patronage of the F930 Leopold I was accepted by the city of Nivelles. The Willem van der Zaan was commissioned into the Belgian Naval Component as the F931 Louise-Marie in April 2008.

East African deployment[edit]

The Leopold I embarked upon its first official mission for the Naval Component on 5 September 2007. It was deployed to East Africa as part of the international mission against Somali pirates. The operation was given the codename East African Venture. On 30 November 2007 it arrived back at its home port of Zeebrugge, marking the end of the deployment.

See also[edit]

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