The patrol vessel HNLMS Groningen has to break off the deployment in the Caribbean due to a technical defect to its starboard axis. The Dutch navy ship started its return voyage to the Netherlands on Sunday 27 December where it is expected to arrive on 16 January.
Due to the complexity of the defect, repairs can best be carried out in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Ministry of Defence. The NH90 maritime combat helicopter aboard the Groningen will also return to Den Helder.
In the short term, there will be no replacement ship going to the Caribbean. The Royal Netherlands Navy currently has no ships available for such a deployment. The Caribbean Coast Guard will take over the tasks.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, the navy can still send a ship in that direction. For example, after a natural disaster. In addition, the Navy permanently has the support vessel HNLMS Pelikaan in the Caribbean. However, this vessel is not suitable for patrolling.
HNLMS Groningen (P843) is one of the four patrol ships of the Holland class. These are flexibly deployable vessels for the surveillance of coastal waters. In addition to anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations, these so-called ocean-going patrol vessels (OPVs) are also used for counter narcotics operations.