This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Belgian Government Green Lights Procurement of New Generation MCM Vessels

The Belgian government (Council of Ministers, following a proposal from Defense Minister Vandeput) agreed today to launch a public procurement procedure for the replacement and initial support of the Belgian Navy (Marinecomponent/Composante) and the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) fleets of mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV).

Belgian MCMVThe set of systems constituting the future mine action capability. Unmanned systems are deployed from a morthership, whether in the air (tactical drones), on the sea or under the sea (Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) themselves fitted with sonars, mine-sweeping systems and mine-destroying devices). Belgian Defence image / Kurt De Clercq

As far as the Belgian Navy is concerned, six MCMV with related equipment (MCM Toolboxes, USVs, UUVs...), support equipment and initial support will be procured to replace the six existing Tripartite-class MCMV. Six similar, new generation vessels, will also be procured for the Royal Netherlands Navy (to replace its six remaining Tripartite-class MCMV as well). According to a Belgian government press release, other European partners can join this project as a result of this public contract. The vessels and "MCM toolboxes" are expected to be delivered between 2021 and 2030.

This announcement is in line with Minister Vandeput's white paper on defence issued in June 2016 (called Strategic Vision 2030).  Its objective is to cope with current and future challenges. Cooperation with the Netherlands is an important part of the white paper.

In December 2016, defence Ministers from Belgium & the Netherlands Signed an MoU for the Common Procurement of Vessels: It was then agreed that for the replacement of the so-called M-class frigates Netherlands would take the lead while Belgium would be leading the MCMV program.

The Belgian Navy held an event last year called Unmanned Maritime Systems 2017 to evaluate a number of unmammed systems for mine warfare. Navy Recognition filmed the evaluation of the minewarfare systems by ECA Group.