Construction of the new Mine Countermeasure vessel IJmuiden has begun. The ship’s keel was laid on 11 June in Romania. Once the hull is ready, the ship will be finished in France. The IJmuiden is scheduled to be completed by 2030 at the latest.

When the keel was laid, a coin was welded into the hull of the vessel. This tradition from Roman times is supposed to bring good luck to the ship and her crew.

The IJmuiden is one of twelve new Mine Countermeasure vessels that the navy has purchased jointly with Belgium. Both countries will get six. This is the third Dutch ship now under construction. The current minehunters are nearing the end of their service life and are therefore due for replacement.

Also read: Dutch navy removes minehunter HNLMS Vlaardingen from service

Revolutionary design

The new minehunters have a revolutionary design. The vessels will be equipped with modern sensors that can detect mines.

There is also room on board for unmanned sailing and flying drones. This eliminates the need for the vessels to pass through areas where there may be sea mines or other explosives. Instead, the crew can remotely detect and defuse mines.

Also read: Dutch navy monitors North Sea infrastructure with minehunter


It is customary to give naval vessels the name of a naval hero, celestial body, province or city. In the case of the Dutch minehunters, they chose port cities that the ships actually call at. This connects the IJmuiden with the inhabitants of the city of the same name.

The first minehunter for the Royal Netherlands Navy is the Vlissingen. This has already been launched, but is not yet operational. That will happen next year. Only then will the ship get HNLMS for its name. Similarly, the IJmuiden will not be “entitled” HNLMS until it is operational.

Photo: The hull of the minehunter the IJmuiden in a workshop in Romania (by Dutch Ministry of Defence).

Also read: First new Dutch Mine Countermeasure Vessel hits the water