The Dutch Ministry of Defence and Dutch Naval Design are teaming up to develop unmanned surface vessels (USVs). The vessels will be deployed from the Royal Netherlands Navy’s new Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates.

Technologically highly advanced, sustainable, autonomous and operationally flexible. These qualifications will apply to new unmanned vessels for the Royal Netherlands Navy in about four years’ time. The Ministry of Defence and Dutch Naval Design signed a contract to this effect on 10 April.

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Anti-submarine warfare

The 12-metre-long innovative vessels are crucial for anti-submarine warfare. They will therefore do their work from the Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates to be delivered around 2030. For anti-submarine warfare, a helicopter accompanies the current frigates. Soon, this aircraft will no longer have to perform this task alone. The USV can do it too.

They are capable of conducting operations for longer periods of time. Combined with unique sonar equipment, this represents a major advance in the fight against enemy submarines.

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Protecting our waters

Head of the Maritime Systems Division and Captain at sea Olaf Binnenhei calls the contract a milestone. ‘It represents significant progress for Dutch and international maritime security. By joining forces, we are taking a big step forward in protecting our waters using the latest technologies.’

Dutch Naval Design is a partnership of maritime defence experts from industry and academia.

Picture by the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

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