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Netherlands sends joint support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman to Red Sea.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Dutch MoD on April 24, 2024, the joint support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman has set sail to participate in the European Union's Operation Aspides, commencing its activites in the Red Sea in the upcoming month. She will be stationed there until the end of August.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The joint support ship HNLMS Karel Doorman. (Picture source: Dutch MoD)

The Royal Netherlands Navy has been actively involved in various maritime operations recently. The frigate HNLMS Tromp was deployed as the flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) following its extensive modernization. This modernization included updates to its combat systems and radar capabilities. The deployment is primarily focused in strategic areas such as the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean.

Additionally, the Royal Netherlands Navy participated in the Joint Expeditionary Force – Maritime (JEF-M) task force, which involves security operations across the North Atlantic. This includes a focus on critical undersea infrastructure in areas such as the English Channel and the seas around Northern Europe. This multinational force aims to enhance regional security and prepare for potential threats.

There was also a recent transition in command within the NATO Maritime Task Group, where the Netherlands handed over leadership to Germany. This task group plays a crucial role in NATO's deterrence strategy in the Baltic region and other strategic waters.

Current troubles in the Red Sea

The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have escalated their attacks on shipping lanes, targeting vessels navigating through this critical passage. These attacks have led to a substantial decrease in ship transits through the Red Sea, prompting major shipping companies to reroute their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, which significantly increases transit times and costs​. The U.S., along with UK, France, and other allies, have formed a naval task force to secure the shipping lanes.

HNLMS Karel Doorman

Equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system, the Karel Doorman can operate across vast distances, crucial for the extended missions often required in the Red Sea's complex security environment. Its significant cargo capacity, including space for helicopters and landing craft, enhances its role in both military and humanitarian operations.

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