Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

According to information published by the Belgian Navy on September 9, 2021, Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I departed from Zeebruges to join the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 or SNMG1.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I F930 (Picture source: Belgium Navy)

The Leopold I (F930) is a Karel Doorman-class frigate of the Marine Component (Belgian Navy) of the Belgian Armed Forces. It is one of the two frigates of this class purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy on 22 December 2005.

In December 2005, the defense ministers of the Netherlands and Belgium signed a contract for the sale of two Karel Doorman frigates to the Belgian Navy. Karel Doorman (F827) was transferred to the Belgian Navy in March 2007 and christened Leopold I (F930).

The Leopold I frigate is armed with 16 × RIM-7 Sea Sparrow anti-air VLS (Vertical Launching System), eight Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile, 2 to FN MAG 7.62 mm machine gun, 2 to 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine gun, two Twin-Mark 46 torpedo tubes, one OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun and 1 Goalkeeper CIWS Close-In Weapon System.

The Leopold I ship carries one NH90 NFH NATO frigate helicopter for autonomous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface ship warfare (AsuW) role.

The Karel Doorman-class frigates are a series of eight multi-purpose vessels built for the Royal Netherlands Navy. Its namesake is Karel Doorman, a Dutch naval officer whose ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the battle of the Java Sea in 1942, and who, as a result of which, went down with his ship. Frigates of this class displace 2,800 tonnes and measure 122 meters long. They can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots.