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Second Belgian mine counter-measure ship launched

3rd July 2024 - 13:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Tournai is the third mine countermeasure vessel of the Belgian-Dutch remote mine countermeasure (rMCM) programme. (Photo: Naval Group)

Twelve new Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) are being built to replace the Tripartite-class MCMV. The programme is a joint Dutch-Belgian procurement and a contract was awarded to Belgium Naval Robotics (BNR) in 2019.

The Belgian Navy’s second new mine countermeasure ship, Tournai, was launched on 2 July with an expectation that it will be delivered in 2026.

Tournai is the third of the twelve mine countermeasure vessels in the Belgian-Dutch rMCM programme. The first ship in the series, Oostende, destined for the Belgian Navy, was launched on 29 March 2023. The second, Vlissingen, destined for the Royal Netherlands Navy, was launched on 19 October 2023.

The fourth in the series, Scheveningen, the second vessel for the Dutch Navy, was laid down on 19 July 2023 and is scheduled to be launched in December 2024.

rMCM launch and recovery system undergoes tests

First Belgian-Dutch rMCM vessel launched

Dutch navy launches new rMCM vessel

Delivery of Oostende is scheduled for summer 2025 in Zeebrugge, Belgium. Deliveries of the other ships will then be staggered until mid-2030, at a rate of two a year.

In September 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, allowing France to use the design of the rMCM ships to equip the French Navy with six ships.

France’s Naval Group is overall architect and prime contractor and responsible for the design of the ships, overall integration, testing and commissioning of the mission system (combat system and mine countermeasures system).

Kership, a joint venture between Naval Group and Piriou, is the industrial prime contractor for the 12 ships, which are being built in Concarneau and Lanester.

The main strength of the ships is what Naval Group refers to as “the toolbox” which consist of the capacity to operate surface uncrewed surface vessels (vessels of around 12m and 18t), underwater uncrewed systems and UAS.

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