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Dutch navy air defence and command frigate HNLMS De Ruyter gears up for post-refit trials

HNLMS De Ruyter (F 804), 10.2013 (Michael Nitz - Naval Press Service)

The Royal Netherlands Navy's (RNLN's) third De Zeven Provinciën-class air defence and command frigate (luchtverdedigings en commandofregatten - LCF) HNLMS De Ruyter (F 804) is preparing to start its sea-acceptance tests (SATs) in late March, following the completion of a major maintenance and capability upgrade.

Under current timelines, De Ruyter is planned to be fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2023, a DMO spokesperson told Janes . Meanwhile, HNLMS Eversten (F 805), the final ship to undergo its MLU, is expected to start its SAT period in the second quarter of 2024, with a view to the ship being fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2024, the spokesperson said.

De Ruyter and Eversten complete the four-ship De Zeven Provinciën class, which are receiving MLUs to extend their service lives into the 2030s when a new Future Air Defender is planned to start entering service.

The MLUs, which started with HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën in mid-2018, have been implemented across the class as part of scheduled overhauls, with work being carried out at the RNLN's Directie Materiele Instandhouding (DMI) maintenance facility inside Den Helder naval base. De Zeven Provinciën and Tromp have been back in operation since 2021 and 2022 respectively, following the completion of the current cycle of their MLUs.

In addition to addressing obsolescence issues, work includes several capability enhancements – the most notable being the addition of a maritime ballistic missile defence (MBMD) early warning capability. To this end ,

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