Karel Doorman-class frigate
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The Dutch frigate HMS Van Amstel (F-831)
|Builders:||Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding|
|Preceded by:||Kortenaer-class frigate|
|Type:||Karel Doorman class multi-purpose frigate|
|Displacement:||2,800 tons standard; 3,320 tons full load|
|Speed:||30 knots (54 km/h)|
|Aircraft carried:||Chilean Navy: AS 532 Cougar, Portuguese Navy: Westland Super Lynx, Dutch & Belgian Navy: NH-90|
|Aviation facilities:||helicopter hangar and flightdeck|
The Karel Doorman class is a class of eight multi-purpose frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Introducing CODOG propulsion into the Dutch Navy for economical cruising. The class is also known as the "Multi-purpose" or M class. The design was originally intended to play a role similar to the then current Holland class for patrol duties in the North Sea and Caribbean, with high automation and a crew of 80-100.
Their primary surface armament consists of two quad launchers for the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile, which has a range of 120 kilometres. Backing this up is a 76 mm Oto Melara gun, which has both anti-ship and anti-air capabilities.
Air defence is provided by the Sea Sparrow vertical launch system, which uses semi-active radar to find its target and has a range of 14 km. 16 VLS cells are mounted on the port external bulkhead of the hangar. A Goalkeeper system provides close-range air defence. It fires 30 mm rounds and can fire up to 4,000 rounds per minute, with a range of 200 metres to 3 km.
For anti submarine warfare, each ship is equipped with two twin torpedo launchers, firing Mark 46 torpedoes; and carries one Westland Lynx helicopter. The helicopter is also armed with 2 Mk 46 torpedoes, and carries dipping sonar and forward looking infrared (FLIR) systems.
All ships were built by Royal Schelde Dockyard
|Ship||Pennant number||commissioned||Current Status|
|Karel Doorman||F827||1991||sold to Belgium as Leopold I (F930) in 2005|
|Willem van der Zaan||F829||1991||sold to Belgium as Louise-Marie (F931) in 2005.|
|Tjerk Hiddes||F830||1991||sold to Chile as Almirante Riveros (FF-18) in 2004|
|Van Amstel||F831||1993||In Service|
|Abraham van der Hulst||F832||1993||sold to Chile as Blanco Encalada (FF-15) in 2004|
|Van Nes||F833||1994||sold to Portugal as NRP Bartolomeu Dias (F333) in 2006|
|Van Galen||F834||1994||sold to Portugal as NRP D. Francisco de Almeida (F334) in 2006|
|Van Speijk||F828||1995||In service|
In 2004 two ships, Tjerk Hiddes and Abraham van der Hulst were sold to Chile and renamed Almirante Riveros (FF-18) and Blanco Encalada (FF-15) respectively. Blanco Encalada commissioned into the Chilean Navy on 16. December 2005, with Almirante Riveros to be commissioned in April 2007.
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, which in turn might be sold to Bulgaria. On 21. December 2005, Karel Doorman and Willem van der Zaan were sold to Belgium and renamed Leopold I (F930) and Louise-Marie (F931) respectively. They were recommissioned between 2007- 2008.
In May 2006, Portugal's National Defense Minister, Luís Amado, showed interest in buying two Karel Doorman class frigates to replace the two remaining frigates of the João Belo class in service with the Portuguese Navy — instead of buying two frigates of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, offered by the United States. A committee of the Portuguese government arrived in the Netherlands to evaluate the condition of two frigates to be bought.
On November 1, 2006, the Portuguese Defense Minister Nuno Severiano Teixeira signed a contract for the purchase of the frigates Van Nes and Van Galen. Van Nes, renamed NRP Bartolomeu Dias (F333), was transferred to Portugal on January 16, 2009 and Van Galen, renamed NRP Francisco de Almeida (F334) was transferred on January 15, 2010.  
With the sale of two M-class frigates to Portugal only two of the eight ships remain with the Dutch Navy.
The Royal Netherlands Navy and Belgium Navy decided to upgrade the four frigates by rebuilding both hangar and helicopter deck for the NH-90 as well to replace the forward mast for fitting the new Thales SeaWatcher 100 phased array surface search radar and Gatekeeper electro-optical surveillance system. The first ship to receive the upgrade was HNLMS Van Speijk F828 in April 2012, next was BNS Leopold I F930, followed by HNLMS Van Amstel F831 and BNS Louise Marie F931 is currently undergoing the modernization. SMART-S 3D search radars will not be replaced by SMART-S MK2.
Seawatcher 100 is a non-rotating active phased array radar for naval surface surveillance. The system automatically detects and tracks asymmetric threats and very small objects such as swimmers and periscopes in all weather conditions. Seastar can also be used for helicopter guidance.Seastar is internationally marketed as Sea Watcher 100
Gatekeeper is a 360° panoramic electro-optical surveillance and alerter system based on IR/TV technology. Designed to counter emerging asymmetric threats down to small boats and swimmers, Gatekeeper increases short-range situational awareness in littoral environments.
The two multipurpose M-frigates which are still in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy are reaching the end of their life; they were designed to last until 2018/2023. Because of this the Dutch Ministry of Defence started design studies in 2013.
In November 2013 on a techbase in Amsterdam a 3D-printed model of one of the designs was shown to the public. The ships were going to be, just like their predicors, multipurpose-frigates with anti-submarine being the main task. This new class is going to have an integrated mast made by Thales Nederland; the ships of the Holland-class did also get this type of mast. At first this new class was to be replacing the Karel Doorman-class vessels in 2020; however, Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has changed this date to 2023. By 2017, it was made clear the new 'Future Surface Combatant' will be developed in cooperation with the Belgian Marine Component and at least four vessels are to be built (two for the Royal Dutch Navy and two for the Belgian Marine Component), with the possibility more will be ordered as soon as the acquisition procedure reaches a more definitive phase.
- R. Gardiner. All the Worlds Warships 1947-82. Pt 1. Western Powers. Conway. London(1983)p 87
- Vervanger M-fregatten, marineschepen.nl
- Joris Janssen Lok, 'The Netherlands: Dutch M frigates are ready for action,' Jane's Defence Weekly/Jane's Information Group, 14 October 1995
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