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Dutch-Belgian M-frigate replacement delayed as research phase is completed

The research phase of the programme to replace Dutch-Belgian M-frigates has been completed but deliveries will be delayed, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 24 June.

Artist’s impression of Dutch-Belgian M-frigate replacement. (Dutch MoD)

Artist’s impression of Dutch-Belgian M-frigate replacement. (Dutch MoD)

The Dutch MoD said the design phase would last two years, longer than anticipated, delaying delivery of the first new frigate to 2027 – two years later than had initially been planned for its entry into service. This phase will be followed by operational effectiveness and safety testing. The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is scheduled to receive the first ship in 2028 and the second one a year later.

The Belgian frigates are to be delivered no later than 2030. The first Belgian ship was originally scheduled to enter service in 2027.

The research phase elaborated on requirements for the ships to produce a ship design within budget and construction timelines. The two MoDs worked with contractors Damen and Thales to arrive at a design that meets Dutch, Belgian, and NATO requirements.

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