Damen-built Joint Support Ship Karel Doorman commissioned for
the Royal Netherlands Navy
Saturday, March 8th, Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
ceremonially named the Karel Doorman, the new Joint Support Ship for
the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ceremony took place in Vlissingen at
the shipyard operated by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. With a length
of 204.7 metres, the Karel Doorman is the biggest ship in the Dutch
The new logistical support vessel can be deployed to supply units at
sea, for strategic sea transport, and for logistical support from the
sea (“seabasing”), with the ship acting as a seaborne base
for implementing and supporting land operations. It must be possible
to perform these duties worldwide, and anywhere within the spectrum
of force. In addition to a below-deck transport deck, medical facilities,
and its own loading and unloading facilities, the new vessel also has
a helicopter deck with two landing pads for different types of helicopters.
Karel Doorman, the new Joint Support Ship for the
Royal Netherlands Navy.
Doorman replaces two supply ships, the HNLMS Zuiderkruis (decommissioned
in 2012) and the HNLMS Amsterdam (to be decommissioned this year). The
new vessel was largely built at Damen’s shipyard in Romania, but
has been fitted out in Vlissingen. It will commence trials in May.
In her memorandum “In the Interests of the Netherlands”
[In het belang van Nederland], the Minister announced last September
that, once it had been outfitted, the new Joint Support Ship would be
sold. This cost-cutting measure was cancelled a month later, meaning
that the ship will in fact join the Dutch navy. Ms Hennis-Plasschaert
is currently investigating whether there is international interest in
shared use of the vessel, for example within NATO or within the EU.
Karel Doorman, the new Joint Support Ship for the Royal