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Belgium sends Karel Doorman class frigate Louise Marie to counter Houthi activities.


| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Belgian MoD on March 7, 2024, the Belgian Karel Doorman class frigate Louise-Marie left Zeebrugge for a mission in the Red Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Karel Doorman class frigate Louise Marie firing Harpoon anti ship missile. (Picture source: Belgian MoD)


The Louise-Marie is equipped to engage in a variety of missions, including anti-piracy efforts, merchant ship protection, and participation in naval flotillas under challenging conditions. Its deployment is divided between two operations: AGENOR and ASPIDES, reflecting Belgium's involvement in international maritime security.

Operation AGENOR is the military aspect of EMASOH (European-led Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz), initiated in 2020 following increased instability in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz during 2019. It now includes participation from nine European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal.

Operation ASPIDES, meanwhile, is a defensive naval deployment under the EU, aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and securing the Gulf region, the Red Sea, and the Horn of Africa, in addition to protecting international maritime commerce.

Technical data

The frigate Louise-Marie has a displacement of 2,800 tonnes and measures 122.325 meters in length. Its beam is 14.37 meters wide, and it has a draught of 6.2 meters, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 30 knots. The vessel is staffed by a complement of 15 officers, 70 non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and 60 sailors.

The Louise-Marie is equipped with 16 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles housed in vertical launching systems, 8 Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missiles, between 2 and 6 FN MAG 7.62 mm machine guns, and 2 to 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns. It also has 2 twin-Mark 46 torpedo tubes, an OTO Melara 76 mm gun, and a Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).


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