Public Contract for the Replacement of the Multi-Role Frigates and Signature of Two Memorandums of Understanding with the Netherlands
(Source: Belgian Government; issued May 25, 2018)
(Unofficial translation by
As tabled by Defense Minister Steven Vandeput, the Council of Ministers today agreed to launch a public contract tender for the design, development and construction of two multi-role frigates under the Belgian-Dutch Joint Program for the replacement of the current multirole frigates.

This public contract aims to replace the Surface Combatant capacity by participating in the acquisition program with the Netherlands.

In addition, the Council of Ministers has also authorized the accession to the two binational acquisition programs, for mine action and for the replacement of the multi-role frigates, through the signing of the two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the Netherlands, as confirmation of Belgium's commitment to these projects.

Click here for the related May 4 statement by the Dutch ministry of defence.


Two New Frigates for the Belgian Navy
(Source: Belgian Minister of Defence; issued May 25, 2018)
(Unofficial translation by
BRUSSELS - Today, the Council of Ministers approved the replacement of the two multi-role frigates of the Belgian Marine Component. The two new multi-role frigates will be deployed nationally and internationally (NATO and EU).

Like the purchase of six new mine countermeasures (Cabinet of Ministers of 26 January 2018), the replacement of the Belgian frigates is also included in the strategic vision for Defense proposed by Minister Steven Vandeput (N -VA) on June 29, 2016.

“The replacement of our frigates ensures the future of our Navy and we can better protect the important maritime access routes for the Belgian and European economies," according to Minister Vandeput (N-VA) (Flemish Nationalist party—Ed.)) This project is part of two replacement projects, one led by Belgium (replacement of minehunting vessels) and the other by the Netherlands (replacement of frigates).

The new frigates must be able to protect themselves as well as neighboring vessels against all kinds of threats at sea, and more specifically to detect and neutralize enemy submarines. Within NATO, underwater threats are being increasingly underlined. The new vessels will be better equipped for maritime safety and maritime assistance operations.

In addition, these vessels will have growth potential and allow the integration of unmanned systems. Minister Vandeput said: "With the replacement of our frigates, we support our ambition to be a reliable partner in NATO and we meet the requirements of the alliance."

The decision approved by the Council of Ministers allows the design, development and construction of two multi-role frigates for the Belgian Marine Component as part of the joint Belgian-Dutch program for the replacement of existing multi-role frigates. The commissioning of the first Belgian ship is planned from 2027 and the Belgian share in this project amounts to more than 1 billion euros. The homeport of these new frigates is Zeebrugge and their maintenance will take place in Den Helder (Netherlands).

"Our country has been cooperating with the Dutch Navy for decades and this cooperation is unique in our international environment. The joint construction of the same type of ship also leads to operational, financial and management benefits, and consolidates Belgian-Dutch cooperation between the two navies," Minister Vandeput concluded.


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