Royal Netherlands Navy

The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) (Dutch: Koninklijke Marine [KM] “Royal Navy”) is the naval force of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its origins date back to the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), the war of independence from the House of Habsburg who ruled over the Habsburg Netherlands.

During the 17th century the navy of the Dutch Republic (1581–1795) was one of the most powerful naval forces in the world and played an active role in wars against England, France, Spain and several other European powers. The navy of the later Batavian Republic (1795–1806) and Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810) played an active role in the Napoleonic Wars, though mostly dominated by French interests. After the establishment of the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands (founded 1815) it served an important role in protecting Dutch colonial rule, especially in Southeast Asia, and would play a minor role in World War II, especially against the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Since World War II the Royal Netherlands Navy has taken part in expeditionary peacekeeping operations.

Royal Netherlands Navy
Koninklijke Marine
Logo marine
FoundedJanuary 8, 1488
Country Netherlands
BranchArmed Forces of the Netherlands
TypeGreen-water navy
Size10500 active duty personnel
850 reserve personnel

6 frigates
4 offshore patrol vessels

6 minehunters
1 Joint Support Ship
2 landing platform docks
4 submarines
40 other ships

20 helicopters
Part ofMinistry of Defence
HeadquartersDen Helder
Motto(s)"Veiligheid op en vanuit zee."
Security on and from the sea.
MarchRoyal Netherlands Navy Service Marchpast
EngagementsEighty Years' War
Dutch–Portuguese War
Anglo-Dutch Wars
War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Quadruple Alliance
French Revolutionary Wars
World War II
Korean War
Battle of Arafura Sea
CommanderNl-marine-vloot-vice-admiraal.svg Vice-Admiral Rob Kramer
Deputy commanderNl-marine-vloot-schout schout bij nacht.svg Generaal-majoor Frank van Sprang
Michiel de Ruyter, Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp,
Naval ensign
Flag of the Netherlands
Naval jack
Naval Jack of the Netherlands
Aircraft flown


The main naval base is located at Den Helder, North Holland. Secondary naval bases are located at Amsterdam, Vlissingen, Texel, and Willemstad (Curaçao). Netherlands Marine Corps barracks are found in Rotterdam, Doorn, Suffisant on Curaçao, and Savaneta on Aruba.

Officer training

Officers of the Nederland Navy are trained at the Koninklijk Instituut voor de Marine ("Royal Naval Institute"), which is part of the Nederlandse Defensie Academie ("Netherlands defence academy") in Den Helder.[1] Around 100–150 people start training every year.

Ship prefixes

An international prefix for ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy is HNLMS (His/Her Netherlands Majesty's Ship).[2] The Netherlands navy itself uses the prefixes Zr.Ms. (Zijner Majesteits, His Majesty's) when a king is on the throne, and Hr.Ms. (Harer Majesteits, Her Majesty's) when there is a queen. This happens automatically at the moment of coronation. [3]


The modern Netherlands Navy dates its founding to a "statute of admiralty" issued by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I on January 8, 1488.[4] Naval historians trace the origins of an independent Dutch navy to the early stages of the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) while the formation of a "national" navy is dated to the establishment of the Dutch Republic in 1597.[5]

Netherlands Golden Age

The Netherlands navy was involved in several wars against other European powers from the late 16th century, initially for independence against Spain in European waters, later for shipping lanes, trade and colonies in many parts of the world, notably in four Anglo-Dutch wars against England. During the 17th century the Dutch navy was one of the most powerful navies in the world. As an organization, the navy of the Dutch Republic consisted of five separate admiralties (three of them in Holland, and one each in Friesland and Zeeland), each with its own ships, personnel, shipyards, command structures and revenues.[6]

World War II

Awm 045393 HNLMS Java
HNLMS Java, c. 1941
Elements of the Royal Netherlands Navy on manoeuvres, 1936
Piet de Jong in uniform
Piet de Jong commanding officer of HNLMS Gelderland in 1958.

During the Second World War, the Dutch navy was based in Allied countries after the Netherlands was conquered by Nazi Germany in a matter of days: the Dutch navy had its headquarters in London, England, and smaller units in Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) and Western Australia.

Around the world Dutch naval units were responsible for transporting troops, for example during Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk and on D-Day, they escorted convoys and attacked enemy targets. During the war the navy suffered heavy losses, especially in defending the Dutch East Indies, most notably the Battle of the Java Sea in which the commander, Dutchman Karel Doorman, went down with his fleet along with 1,000 of the ships' crew. Two Dutch light cruisers and one destroyer leader and three destroyers that were under construction were captured in their shipyard by Nazi Germany.

During the relentless Japanese offensive of February through April 1942 in the Dutch East Indies, the Dutch navy in Asia was virtually annihilated, and it sustained losses of a total of 20 ships (including two of its three light cruisers) and 2,500 sailors killed.[7] The Dutch navy had suffered from years of underfunding and came ill-prepared to face an enemy with more and heavier ships with better weapons, including the Long Lance-torpedo, with which the cruiser Haguro sank the light cruiser HNLMS De Ruyter.[8]

A small force of submarines based in Western Australian sank more Japanese ships in the first weeks of the war than the entire British and American navies together during the same period, an exploit which earned Admiral Helfrich the nickname "Ship-a-day Helfrich".[9] The aggressive pace of operations against the Japanese was a contributing factor to both the heavy losses sustained and the greater number of successes scored as compared to the British and Americans in the region.

Both British and American forces believed that the Dutch admiral in charge of the joint-Allied force was being far too aggressive. Later in the war, a few Dutch submarines scored some remarkable hits, including one on a Kriegsmarine U-boat U-95 in the Mediterranean Sea, which was sunk by O 21.

Netherlands New Guinea

After the war, the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies changed dramatically. The establishment of the Republic of Indonesia, two days after the Japanese surrender, thwarted the Dutch plans for restoring colonial authority. After four years of war the Netherlands acknowledged the independence of Indonesia.

Part of the Dutch Navy was next stationed in Netherlands New Guinea until that, too, was turned over to the Indonesian government in 1962. This followed a campaign of infiltrations by the Indonesian National Armed Forces, supported by modern equipment from the Soviet Union, that was nevertheless successfully repulsed by the Dutch navy. These infiltrations took place after the order of President Sukarno to integrate the territory as an Indonesian province.

NATO cooperation

Ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1
The Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 in 2007 with HNLMS Evertsen second from the right

With the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the military focus was on the army and air force; it was not until the Korean War (1950–53) that the navy got more recognition. The government allowed the creation of a balanced fleet consisting of two naval squadrons. Apart from the aircraft carrier HNLMS Karel Doorman the Dutch navy consisted of two light cruisers (two De Zeven Provinciën class), 12 destroyers (four Holland class, eight Friesland class), eight submarines, six frigates (van Speijk-class frigates), and a considerable number of minesweepers.

As a member of NATO, the Netherlands developed its security policy in close cooperation with other members. The establishment of the Warsaw pact in 1955 intensified the arms race between West and East. Technical innovations rapidly emerged, the introduction of radar and sonar were followed by nuclear weapon systems and long-range missiles. The geopolitical situation allowed for a fixed military strategy. Beginning in 1965, the Dutch Navy joined certain permanent NATO squadrons like the Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

Current structure

The constituent parts of the Royal Netherlands Navy are:

Naval squadron

Contains all surface combatants, replenishment ships, and amphibious support ships.

Submarine service

Contains the submarines and a support vessel.

Mine Detection and Clearing Service

Contains various minehunters.

Hydrographic Survey

The Dutch Hydrographic Service is responsible for relevant hydrographic surveys. (Dienst der Hydrografie).

Naval aviation

  • Two helicopter squadrons

Netherlands Marine Corps

  • One Marine Training Command (MTC) (formerly known as GOEM: Groep Operationele Eenheden Mariniers)
    • Two Operational Marine Combat Groups (1 MCG AND 2 MCG)
    • One Maritime Special Operations Force (NLMARSOF)
    • One Surface Assault and Training Group (SATG)
    • One Seabased Support Group (SSG)
    • One rifle company (32 Raiding Squadron.)is permanently stationed at Aruba

Netherlands & Dutch Caribbean Coastguard

Although the Netherlands Coastguard is not an official part of the Navy, it is under its operational control. Also the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard is under the operational control of the Navy and is commanded by the commander of the Navy in the Caribbean.



The Royal Netherlands Navy currently operates 7 main classes of vessels:

Note: in the Royal Netherlands Navy frigates are interchangeable with destroyers as there is no separate class
Type ship Defensenote 1974 Defensenote 1984 Priority Document 1993 Navy study 2005 Economize 2011 Defensenote 2018
LC frigates 4 4 4
M frigates 4 [10] 8 [11] 8 2 2 2
GW frigates 2 2 2
L frigates 1 [12] 2 2
S frigates 12 10 6
MLM frigates [13] 6
Frigates 25 22 18 6 6 6
Patrol ships 4 4 4
Submarine 6 6 4 4 4 4
Supply ships 2 2 2 1 1
LPD 1 2 2 2
JSS 1 1 1
Minehunters 15 15 15 10 6 6
Minesweepers 11 11 [14]
Total ships 59 56 40 28 23 24
LRMP Aircraft 21 13 [15] 13
Helicopters 36 [16] 30 [17] 20 20 20 20
Total aircraft 57 43 33 20 20 20

* The Royal Netherlands Navy classifies the De Zeven Provinciën-class as frigates, but internationally they are most comparable to destroyers (due to their size and weapon capability) platform for Sea Based Anti-Ballistic Missile defence

Naval aviation – maritime helicopters

  • 20 NH90, 12 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) and eight transport version of the NATO Frigate Helicopter (TNFH) for Marine Corps Air Lift Helicopter Squadron [18]
Royal Netherlands Navy NH-90 NFH
Royal Netherlands Navy NH-90 NFH at De Kooy Naval Air Station.

In 2012 an Apache attack helicopter from the Royal Netherlands Air Force made a deck landing on board HNLMS Rotterdam for the first time as part of an initial study into the possibilities for wider use of the helicopters as these will be upgraded to the AH-64E standard which has specific features for maritime operations.

The Dutch amphibious support ship HNLMS Johan de Witt and the HNLMS Karel Doorman JSS are designed to handle Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47F Chinook helicopters. But these are not capable of sustained maritime operations due to lack of anti-corrosion measures.

Unmanned vehicles

Armored vehicles (Marine Corps)

  • 156 BV206S armored all-terrain personnel carriers (127 will get a Mid-Life Update, the rest will be disposed of or sold)
  • 74 BVS10 armored all-terrain personnel carriers
  • 20 Bushmaster Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected
  • 4 Leopard 1 BARV beach armored recovery vehicles

Unarmored vehicles (Marine Corps)

Artillery (Marine Corps)

Personal weapons

2018 Current Naval Inventory

In 2018 the fleet of the Royal Netherlands Navy consists of these ships:

Class Photo Type Number Dates Details
Walrus class Royal Netherlands Submarine - - 913392 Submarine 4 1994 Multi-purpose Diesel-electric powered hunter-killer submarines for Deep Ocean Operations and Brown Water & Special Force Operations. SLEP 2015–2019, will be replaced by 4 new subs from 2025 onwards.
De Zeven Provinciën class HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën (F 802) Frigate 4 2002 Mainly Anti-Air Warfare with BMD capability, ASW and with extensive Command & Communication Facilities.
Karel Doorman class Hr. Ms. Van Amstel (1993) Frigate 2 1994 8 initially built for the Dutch navy, pairs of ships subsequently sold to the Belgian Navy, Portuguese Navy and Chilean Navy. Belgian and Dutch M-Class frigates recently received extensive upgrades such as an extended helicopter deck and new advanced sensors and improvements in stealthiness. Will be replaced in 2025
Holland class HNLMS Holland Offshore Patrol Vessel 4 2011 Ocean patrols
Alkmaar class Hr. Ms. Maassluis Minehunter 6 1989 Initial class of 15 ships, will be replaced starting 2027
Karel Doorman class JSS Karel Doorman in Den Helder Joint Logistic Support Ship 1 2014 Combined Amphibious Operations/Seabased Helicopter Platform & Fleet Replenishing, capable of supporting CH-47/AH-64/NH-90 Operations.
Rotterdam class HNLMS Johan de Witt (L801) Landing Platform Dock 2 1998/2007 Troop & Equipment Transport, Helicopter Platform with Command & Communication & Hospital Facilities
Cerberus class Duikvaartuigen Diving Support Vessel 4 1992 Multi-purpose Diving Support Vessels & Harbour Protection
Soemba class Duikvaartuigen Diving Support Vessel 1 1989 Multi-purpose Diving Support Vessels & Harbour Protection
Pelikaan class Pelikaan A804 Multi-purpose Logistic Support Vessel 1 2006 Multi-purpose Logistic & Amphibious Support Vessel Based in Dutch Caribbean
Mercuur class A900 ZrMs Mercuur Submarine Support Vessel 1 1987 Submarine Support Vessel & MCM Command, upgraded in 2017.
Snellius class HNLMS Snellius A802 2863 Hydrographic Survey Vessel 2 2004 Multi-purpose Hydrographic Survey Vessel

The total tonnage will be approx. 140,000 tonnes. Next to these ships a lot of other smaller vessels remain in the navy.

With these changes the Royal Netherlands Navy will have 10 large oceangoing vessels ranging from medium/low to high combat action ships. The renewed Dutch Navy will be a green-water navy, having enough frigates and auxiliaries to operate far out at sea, while depending on land-based air support, and, with the large amphibious squadron, they will have significant brown-water navy capabilities.

Future changes

Women are expected to join submarine crews in the Royal Netherlands Navy in 2019, with the addition of shower doors and changing room curtains.[20]

In April 2018, the Dutch Government approved a multi-year investment program and allocated funds for the 2018–2030 period, including;

  • The Walrus-class submarines replacement in 2025. The sub's are currently undergoing a Service-life Extension Program (SLEP), including new sonar, new optronic periscope and weapon upgrades for near shore operations. The Royal Dutch Navy is evaluating Saab/Damen (A-26), TKMS (Upgraded 212), Navantia S-80 and Naval Group (SSK version of Barracuda) proposal, decision is due early 2019.
  • Upgrading the De Zeven Provinciën-class LCF frigates Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense, acquisition of SM-3 missiles, a new 127mm canon, ESSM-2 and SLCM integration 2018–2021 with a planned replacement from 2028 onwards.
  • Replacement of the Karel Doorman-class M frigates in 2025 by initially 4 ships, 2 to be operated by the Belgian Navy and 2 by the Dutch navy, designed & build by Damen Shipyards.[21] See Future Surface Combatant for more information.
  • Replacement of the 6 Alkmaar-class MCM ships from 2024 including MCM Drones. 6 units will be built for both the Belgian and Dutch navies with a total of 12 ships.[21] The contract was won by Naval Group on 15 March 2019.[22][23]
  • Increasing the size of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps to remain highly integrated with the British Royal Marines. In 2017 the Ministry of Defence announced the formation of a Fleet Marine Squadron for the protection of merchant ships.
  • The German Navy Seebatallion (Marines) will be integrated into the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.
  • Cooperation with the German Navy regarding Submarine & Amphibious Operations.
  • Acquisition of a new Combat Support Ship to replace the former Zr.Ms. Amsterdam, designed & build by Damen Shipyards.[24] This ship will be based on the JSS Karel Doorman design to improve type commonality (architecture & components) and is expected to be operational in 2022.[25] The ship will be named Zr.Ms. Den Helder after the city of Den Helder, with the pennant A834.
  • Acquisition of new LCU's in 2025 with additional capacity to support amphibious operations and the integration of the German Navy Marines (Seebatallion).
  • Main Naval Weapons will be replaced by acquiring ESSM-2, 127mm canon, Harpoon ASuW replacement, SM-3, SM-2 IIIC SAM, Goalkeeper CIWS replacement, MK 46 & MK 48 Torpedo replacement and SLCM (study).

Theater ballistic missile defense

Together with the United States and several other NATO members, the Dutch Navy is testing and updating its ships for Tactical ballistic missile defense capability. Although tests conducted concerning the capability of the APAR (Active Phased Array Radar) have been very successful, in 2018 the Dutch Government decided to acquire the SM-3 missiles for integration into the existing weapon suite of the LCF frigates. Four ships will be fitted out for tactical ballistic missile defense. The four LCFs will be fitted out with only eight SM-3 missiles each, due to the high costs for each missile (approximately $2.5–$5 million).


Rotterdam Havendagen 2009 - A877 Hr Ms Rotte

HNLMS Rotte, Coastal tugboat


HNLMS Urania, Sail training ship

Rotterdam Havendagen 2009 - A853 Hr Ms Nautilus

HNLMS Nautilus, Dive Support Vessel

Hr. Ms. Mercuur (1987)

HNLMS Mercuur, Torpedo Recovery Vessel


Landing Craft Utility MKII NL

Historic ships

Surviving historic ships

By period

Ranks and insignia of the RNLN


NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
Netherlands Netherlands
No equivalent Netherlands-Navy-OF-9.svg Netherlands-Navy-OF-8.svg Netherlands-Navy-OF-7.svg Netherlands-Navy-OF-6.svg Generic-Navy-O7.svg Generic-Navy-O5.svg Generic-Navy-O4.svg Generic-Navy-O3.svg Generic-Navy-O2.svg Generic-Navy-O1.svg Adelborst/Korporaal-Adelborst/Sergeant-Adelborst No equivalent
Luitenant-Admiraal Vice-Admiraal Schout-bij-Nacht Commandeur Kapitein ter zee Kapitein-luitenant ter zee Luitenant ter zee der 1ste klasse Luitenant ter zee der 2de klasse oudste categorie Luitenant ter zee der 2de klasse Luitenant ter zee der 3de klasse
Abbreviation (stnd) LAdm VAdm SBN Cdr KTZ KLTZ LTZ1 LTZ2OC LTZ2 LTZ3 Adb

Enlisted ranks

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Netherlands Netherlands
Netherlands-Navy-OR-7.svg Netherlands-Navy-OR-5.svg
Netherlands-Navy-OR-2b.svg Netherlands-Navy-OR-2a.svg Netherlands-Navy-OR-1.svg
Adjudant onderofficer Sergeant-majoor Sergeant Korporaal Matroos/
Marinier der 1e klasse
Marinier der 2e klasse
Marinier der 3e klasse

See also


  1. ^ "Koninklijk Instituut voor de Marine". 13 February 2014. Archived from the original on 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  2. ^ "List of Acronyms Preceding the Name of a Ship". Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  3. ^ "Defensieschepen worden meteen Zr. Ms. in plaats van Hr. Ms" (in Dutch). Volkskrant. 2013-01-29.
  4. ^ "Geschiedenis marine". Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  5. ^ Jaap R. Bruijn, "Dutch Navy" in Bruce, Anthony & Cogar, William (editors) An Encyclopedia of Naval History. Facts on File, New York. 1998; p. 121
  6. ^ Rodger, N. A. M. (2004) Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649–1815. Penguin Books, London; pp. 9–10
  7. ^ Klemen, L (1999–2000). "The War at Sea". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign, 1941–1942. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
  8. ^ Dr. L. de Jong, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Dutch), 14 parts, part 11a-I-second half, RIOD, Amsterdam, 1975
  9. ^ "World Battlefronts: Dutchman's Chance". Time. February 23, 1942. Archived from the original on October 25, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  10. ^ De M-fregatten werden voor het eerst genoemd bij de Memorie van Toelichting bij de defensiebegroting van 1977.
  11. ^ In de defensienota 1984 ging het om een groter type M-fregat dan in de MVT 1977 nog sprake was.
  12. ^ Het Aangepast Standaardfregat, zoals genoemd in de Defensienota van 1974 was een iets groter schip dan de uiteindelijk gebouwde L-fregatten
  13. ^ Gemoderniseerde Van Speijkklasse
  14. ^ Gepland was tevens de aanschaf van 2 oceaanmijnenvegers, maar een jaar later was dit plan al geschrapt. Gepland was voorts de vervanging van de Dokkumklasse mijnenvegers vanaf 1988, met een nader te bepalen aantal van minimaal 6 en maximaal 15 mijnenvegers.
  15. ^ Aanvankelijk werd de aanschaf van 2 extra Orion P-3 vliegtuigen overwogen, maar een jaar later waren deze plannen al geschrapt.
  16. ^ Er is later zelfs nog aan 40 helikopters gedacht.
  17. ^ Gepland was de aanschaf van 8 grote helikopters, als aanvulling op de 22 (2 waren al verloren gegaan) Lynx helikopters van de MLD.
  18. ^ "Royal Netherlands Navy Takes Delivery of a Mission Planning System for the NH90 NFH Fleet". November 29, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  19. ^ "RNLN Integrates SeeByte's Neptune into its AUVs". Marine Technology News. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Vrouwen gaan voor het eerst mee in onderzeeër, dus komen er gordijnen en douchedeurtjes voor de privacy" (in Dutch). 9 October 2018. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b Marine krijgt nieuwe schepen, Dutch Ministry of Defence, 3 May 2018, archived from the original on 3 May 2018, retrieved 3 May 2018
  22. ^ "France's Naval Group clinches Belgian-Dutch minehunter replacement contract". Naval Today. 15 March 2019. Archived from the original on 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  23. ^ Scott, Richard (15 March 2019). "Naval Group team selected for BE/NL MCM programme". Jane's 360. London. Archived from the original on 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  24. ^ Karremann, Jaime. "Marine wil bevoorrader 'in de geest van Zr.Ms. Amsterdam'". Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  25. ^ Karremann, Jaime. "Nieuw bevoorradingsschip komt in 2022". Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

External links

A-class minesweeper

The A class were four minesweepers of the Royal Netherlands Navy. They were the first purpose-built minesweepers of the Dutch Navy, as earlier minesweepers were converted tugboats.

Adri van Es

Adrianus "Adri" van Es (28 April 1913 – 6 January 1994) was a Dutch naval officer and vice admiral of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Armed forces of the Netherlands

The Armed forces of the Netherlands consist of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The service branches consist of:

Koninklijke Landmacht (KL), Royal Netherlands Army.

Koninklijke Marine (KM), Royal Netherlands Navy and Korps Mariniers, Marine Corps.

Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu), Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar), Royal Military Constabulary.In addition, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, there are small local conscript forces on the islands of Aruba (Arumil) and Curaçao (Antmil). These operate under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Marines.

The military ranks of the Dutch armed forces have similarities with British and U.S. military ranks. The highest-ranking officer in the Dutch military is the Chief of Defence (Netherlands), who is a four-star officer (NATO OF-9).

Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy

The Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy (CZsk) (Dutch: Commandant Zeestrijdkrachten) is the highest-ranking officer of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The CZsk reports directly to the Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff.

The position of CZsk was created on 5 September 2005, following a large overhaul of the command structure of the Dutch armed forces. In this overhaul the position of Bevelhebber der Zeestrijdkrachten was dropped and the position of Commander of the Naval Force in The Netherlands was upgraded to the current CZsk position. Ever since the integration of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps into the Navy, the former Commander of the Marine Corps has held the position of Deputy Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

In addition to being the commanding officer of the Dutch Navy, under the terms of the BENESAM Treaty the CZsk is also the Admiral of the Benelux (the commanding officer of the integrated command of the Dutch and Belgian fleets). This means the CZsk is the commanding officer of the operational units of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Belgian Naval Component.

Also, the CZsk shares command responsibility with the Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff for units that have been deployed on international missions (under the colors of the United Nations).

The position of CZsk is statutorily held by a Vice Admiral or Lieutenant General of the Marines (NATO OF-8). The current CZsk is Vice-admiraal Rob Kramer, who succeeded Lieutenant general Rob Verkerk in the position in September 2017.

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding is a Dutch shipyard, and a continuation of the Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde, responsible for a number of ships used by the Royal Netherlands Navy. It is owned by the Damen Group. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding is situated in Vlissingen.

HMS Campbeltown (I42)

HMS Campbeltown was a Town-class destroyer of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. She was originally US destroyer USS Buchanan, and, like many other obsolescent U.S. Navy destroyers, she was transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. Campbeltown became one of the most famous of these ships when she was used in the St. Nazaire Raid in 1942.


HMS P47 was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong. She was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy before completion and renamed HNLMS Dolfijn.

HNLMS De Ruyter (1935)

HNLMS De Ruyter (Dutch: Hr.Ms. De Ruyter) was a unique light cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She was originally designed as a 5,000-long-ton (5,100 t) ship with a lighter armament due to financial problems and the pacifist movement. Later in the design stage, an extra gun turret was added and the armor was improved. She was the seventh ship of the Dutch Navy to be named after Admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter.

De Ruyter was laid down on 16 September 1933 at the Wilton-Fijenoord dockyard in Schiedam and commissioned on 3 October 1936, commanded by Captain A. C. van der Sande Lacoste. She was sunk in the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942.


HNLMS O 16 was a unique submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy that saw service during World War II. The design came from G. de Rooij and had a diving depth of 80 metres (260 ft). She was the first submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy manufactured from high quality Steel 52. Also riveting was reduced 49% and replaced by welding when compared to preceding ships.

HNLMS Onverschrokken (M886)

HNLMS Onverschrokken (A856), also known as HNLMS Mercuur (A856), was an ocean minesweeper of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Between 1954 and 1965 she was mainly used to clean up a huge amount of explosives and mines that had ended up in the sea during the Second World War. Later, in 1973 she was renamed as HNLMS Mercuur (A856) and used as submarine support ship till her decommissioning in 1987. Nowadays, she is a museum ship that can be visited in Vlissingen.

HNLMS Poolster (A835)

HNLMS Poolster (Dutch: Hr.Ms. Poolster) was a replenishment ship serving with the Royal Netherlands Navy. Poolster entered service on 29 June 1964. In 1994 she was decommissioned and sold to the Pakistan Navy where the ship was renamed Moawin. A later replenishment ship Zuiderkruis was based on Poolster. In the Dutch navy she was replaced by the replenishment ship Amsterdam. She was the first ship in the Dutch navy with inbuilt protection against radioactive fallout.

Jacob van Heemskerck-class frigate

The Jacob van Heemskerck-class frigate was a class of frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy. They were designed to be an air defence version of the Kortenaer class. The helicopter was replaced by a Standard medium range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system and associated radars. Two ships were built for the Royal Netherlands Navy. In 2005 they were sold to the Chilean Navy.

List of active Royal Netherlands Navy ships

This is a list of active ships currently in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy.

List of shipwrecks in March 1942

The list of shipwrecks in March 1942 includes all ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during March 1942.

Netherlands Naval Aviation Service

The Netherlands Naval Aviation Service (Dutch: Marineluchtvaartdienst, shortened to MLD) is the naval aviation branch of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Piet de Jong

Petrus Jozef Sietse "Piet" de Jong (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpeːtrɵs ˈjoːzəf ˈsitsə ˈpit də ˈjɔŋ]; 3 April 1915 – 27 July 2016) was a Dutch politician of the defunct Catholic People's Party (KVP) now merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and naval officer who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 5 April 1967 to 6 July 1971.De Jong served as a naval officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy and joined the Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Service in 1931. During the German invasion and fought in the Battle of France and escaped on the HNLMS O 24 to England. He served as first officer on the HNLMS O 24 from 1940 until 1944 fighting in the Battle of the Atlantic. On 25 September 1944 De Jong was promoted to commanding officer of the HNLMS O 24 and onder his command the HNLMS O 24 fought in both the Atlantic Campaign and the Pacific War. Following the end of World War II, De Jong continued to serve in the Royal Netherlands Navy holding several administrative functions until 14 November 1951 when he was giving command of the frigate HNLMS De Zeeuw On 20 October 1951 De Jong was transferred to the Allied Command Channel in Portsmouth as a staff officer. In 1955 he was named as chief of staff to the Inspector General of the Navy Prince Bernhard and as chief military adjutant and senior aide-de-camp to Queen Juliana. In 1958 De Jong was giving command of the destroyer HNLMS Gelderland. After the election of 1959 De Jong was unexpectedly appointed as State Secretary for Defence in the Cabinet De Quay, serving from 25 June 1959 until 24 July 1963. Following the election of 1963 De Jong was appointed as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Marijnen, taking office on 24 July 1963. After the fall of the Cabinet Marijnen on 27 February 1965, De Jong continued as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Cals, taking office on 14 April 1965. Following the resignation of the Cabinet Cals on 14 October 1966, De Jong continued as Minister of Defence in the caretaker Cabinet Zijlstra, taking office on 22 November 1966.After the election of 1967, De Jong was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives, taking office on 23 February 1967. After a deadlock following a failed cabinet formation attempt by the Leader of the Anti-Revolutionary Party Barend Biesheuvel, the Catholic People's Party suggested De Jong as a candidate for Prime Minister. The following cabinet formation resulted in a coalition agreement between the Catholic People's Party, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and the Christian Historical Union (CHU) which formed the Cabinet De Jong, with De Jong becoming Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of General Affairs on 5 April 1967. For the election of 1971 the Catholic People's Party refused to nominate De Jong as Lijsttrekker (top candidate) despite his popularity and instead nominated incumbent Minister of Education and Sciences Gerard Veringa as Lijsttrekker. He remained Prime Minister until the Cabinet Biesheuvel I was installed on 6 July 1971.After his premiership, De Jong remained in active politics, De Jong was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1971 and was nominated as Parliamentary leader of the Catholic People's Party in the Senate, serving from 11 May 1971 until 17 September 1974. Following his retirement De Jong occupied numerous seats as a corporate director and nonprofit director for supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organizations (Royal Dutch Shell, DAF Trucks, NN Group, SHV Holdings, CSM, Het Financieele Dagblad) and as an diplomat and lobbyist for several economic delegations on behalf of the government.De Jong was known for his abilities as a team leader and negotiator. During his premiership, his cabinet was responsible for reforms to social security, intruding the value-added tax and improving relations with Indonesia. De Jong continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death at the age of 101. By the time of his death he was the oldest and earliest serving former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the oldest living state leader. He holds the distinction of leading the first cabinet as Prime Minister that completed a full term without any internal conflicts after World War II.

Royal Naval College (Netherlands)

The Royal Naval College was the service academy of the Royal Netherlands Navy. From 2005 it is part of the Koninklijk Instituut voor de Marine ("Royal naval institute" or KIM) as part of the Nederlandse Defensie Academie ("Netherlands defence academy") in Den Helder. It offers a program of four or five years and also a short course of 16 to 22 months. Upon the completion of the program a graduate is awarded a bachelor's degree and is commissioned in the Royal Netherlands Navy. The training of officers for the Royal Netherlands Army and Royal Netherlands Air Force is done by the Koninklijke Militaire Academie in Breda.

Van Amstel-class frigate

The Van Amstel-class was a class of 6 frigates that were built during the Second World War in the United States and served as destroyer Escort during that war. After the war the destroyer escorts were loaned to the Dutch navy as part of the MDAP and from 1950 to 1967 served as the Van Amstel-class frigates.

Wassila Hachchi

Wassila Hachchi (born 6 January 1980) is a Dutch former politician and former civil servant and Royal Netherlands Navy officer. As a member of Democrats 66 (D66) she was an MP from 17 June 2010 until 19 January 2016. She focused on matters of defense, development aid and Kingdom relations.

Dutch naval ship classes and unique ships 1865 – 1889 (Ironclad age)
Ironclad Turret ships
Ram Turret ships
Unprotected cruisers
Steam Frigates
Steam Corvettes
Dutch naval ship classes 1890 – 1920 and unique ships
Coastal defence ships
Protected cruisers
Gunboats, monitors and sloops
Dutch naval ship classes of World War II
Light cruisers
Flotilla leaders
Torpedo boats
Gunboats and sloops
Mine warfare vessels
Patrol boats
Motor torpedo boats
Dutch naval ship classes post-1945
Maritime forces
Land forces maritime component
Air forces maritime component
Current navies in Europe
Sovereign states


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