The Netherlands intends to provide Ukraine with two Alkmaar-class minehunters, starting in 2025. Ukraine will also receive drone detection radar systems and M3 bridge and ferrying systems that enable rapid bridge building. This materiel is being purchased directly from industry partners.
Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren made an announcement to that effect in Ukraine yesterday. Over the past couple of days, Ollongren has been visiting the heavily bombed port cities of Mykolayiv and Odesa in the south of the country together with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.
Reznikov and Ollongren discussed fortification of the coastal defences and the importance of safe passage, maritime security, and protection for merchant ships carrying grain. In the Black Sea, Russia has laid many sea mines that hinder a safe passage. Ukraine intends to clear those mines after the war.
The Netherlands has extensive maritime expertise, including the skills to disarm sea mines. Ollongren stated that the minehunters and training for Ukrainian crews will contribute to security on the Black Sea and in Europe, as well as to global food security. Furthermore, our contribution will also support the Ukrainian armed forces in their transition to Western weapon systems and NATO standards.
The Royal Netherlands Navy is replacing its minehunters with new mine countermeasures vessels. The intended delivery of two minehunters to Ukraine will take place once the replacement capabilities have been realised. This is expected to commence in 2025. Ukrainian crews will already start their training in the second half of 2023. The Netherlands will carry out the training, together with Belgium and possibly other allies.