The Dutch government has informed the House of Representatives that HNLMS Tromp will be deployed in the Red Sea. The air defence and command frigate will contribute to safe and free passage there. In addition, the government is investigating whether the Joint Logistic Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman can also be deployed in the area in the coming months.

The Red Sea is a crucial route for shipping between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. Over twelve per cent of world trade and roughly a third of global container ships pass through the Suez Canal.

Houthi units have attacked more than forty commercial and naval vessels with missiles and drones in recent months. This week, these have even included fatalities. As an open and maritime trading nation, this also affects Dutch interests. Therefore, the government wants to contribute internationally to maritime security and free passage in the Red Sea.

Also read: Cargo volumes in Red Sea area drop 21% due to attacks on ships


HNLMS Tromp is scheduled to travel to the Indo-Pacific, passing through the Red Sea. The Netherlands is therefore deploying the frigate for about 25 days for the maritime defensive operation Prosperity Guardian. This operation aims to repel Houthis attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

In addition, the frigate supports the European defensive operation Aspides, which also focuses on protecting the right to free passage and promoting maritime security. To Aspides, the frigate provides “associated support”. This means that the ship is not under the command of the operation, but shares information and provides support upon request.

Also read: EU launches new mission to protect ships in Red Sea


HNLMS Tromp will be deployed in a high violence spectrum. The unit is trained to deal with the resulting risks. The ship has defences against various threats. HNLMS Tromp departed from Den Helder on 9 March. Deployment in the Red Sea will start around the end of March.

The cabinet is also examining the deployment of the Joint Logistic Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman as a tanker ship to support Operation Aspides and/or Operation Prosperity Guardian in the coming months.

Picture: HNLMS Tromp (by the Dutch Ministry of Defence).

Also read: ‘Severe disruption due to Red Sea crisis will remain’