On Monday 17 April, HNLMS Van Amstel will depart from Den Helder. The Dutch naval vessel will become part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is one of the four rapidly deployable NATO fleet groups. They are permanently available for missions from the alliance.

NATO activated the rapidly deployable fleet alliances after the invasion of Ukraine to show its readiness. Moreover, by participating in SNMG1 and exercising together, NATO countries remain well matched at sea. The SNMG1 fleet is immediately deployable 24/7 when requested by NATO.

SNMG1 operates in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Its operations include exercises and visits to various ports to maintain diplomatic ties.

Also read: Royal Netherlands Navy hands over command of NATO fleet

Anti-submarine warfare

The multi-purpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel specialises in anti-submarine warfare. The ship is suitable for this because of the sonar system it is equipped with. This so-called Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) is an innovative and unique low-frequency sonar. It can be brought to the desired depth with a long cable.

Within NATO, HNLMS Van Amstel is one of the few frigates equipped with it. Anti-submarine warfare is indispensable in maritime operations and will continue to play a major role in the future. Enemy submarines can pose a danger to modern society, for example by causing major damage to ships or infrastructure at sea or on the seabed unseen.

Also read: Dutch frigate Van Speijk taken out of service due to personnel shortage