Belgian frigate Leopold I (F930)

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Leopold I, formerly HNLMS Karel Doorman
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
Identification: F827
Fate: Sold to Belgium on 22 December 2005, and transferred on 29 March 2007
Name: Leopold I
Namesake: King Leopold I of Belgium
Christened: 29 March 2007, by Queen Fabiola of Belgium
Acquired: Purchased on 22 December 2005, from the Royal Netherlands Navy
In service: 29 March 2007
Homeport: Zeebrugge Naval Base
Identification: F930
Motto: Audaces Fortuna Juvat ("Fortune favours the bold"; Latin)
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and 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
Aircraft carried: 1 x NH-90 NFH Helicopter

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

HNLMS Karel Doorman[edit]

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. The ship 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) then in service with the Belgian Naval Component. On 22 December 2005, Karel Doorman and Willem van der Zaan were sold to Belgium.

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

East African deployment[edit]

Leopold I embarked upon her first official mission for the Naval Component on 5 September 2007. She 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 she arrived back at her home port of Zeebrugge, marking the end of the deployment.

Fight against Daesh[edit]

In November 2015, a French Navy press release stated that Leopold I would be part of the Charles de Gaulle task force launching strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Her deployment took place from 18 November 2015 to 4 January 2016.[1]


  1. ^ "Mission Arromanches 2 : Déploiment du GAN en Méditerranée orientale et dans l'Océan Indien". (in French). 18 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 

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