skip to main content

Naval Group lays keel for first new Belgian MCM vessel

A keel laying ceremony for the first of 12 new MCMVs being built for the BE/NL next-generation offboard MCM programme took place at Piriou shipyard in Concarneau, France on 30 November. (Belgian MoD)

French shipbuilder Naval Group held a keel laying ceremony for the Belgian Navy's new mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV) at Piriou Shipyard in Concarneau, France, on 30 November.

The new vessel, named Oostende (M 940), is the first of 12 MCMVs on order for the Belgian and Netherlands (BE/NL) navies under the joint next-generation offboard MCM programme. The new MCM capability is intended to replace the Belgian Navy's five Tripartite minehunters and support ship Godetia , and six Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) Tripartite minehunters.

The Belgium-led BE/NL MCM programme is being delivered by Belgium Naval & Robotics – a consortium of Naval Group and French and ECA Group – under a contract awarded in May 2019. Valued at almost EUR2 billion (USD2.4 billion), the contract includes the supply of 12 2,800-tonne displacement mother ships (six for each navy), and an MCM ‘toolbox' of unmanned/autonomous systems that will equip the vessels.

The 12 ships are being designed and built in Concarneau by Kership, a joint venture between Naval Group and Piriou Group, while the MCM toolboxes will be supplied by ECA.

Under current planning, delivery of the lead ship to the Belgian Navy is set for late 2024, and delivery of the first unit to the Netherlands is expected in 2025. Follow-on vessels will be delivered at six-month intervals, alternating between the Belgian and Netherlands navies, with all 12 planned to be in service by 2030.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...