The Royal Netherland Navy’s Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman will be getting enhanced anti-air warfare capabilities with the addition of Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and the DART 76 mm naval gun.
These systems will be installed on the ship as part of a partial mid-life upgrade (MLU) that will be carried out in two smaller phases.
The navy originally planned to undertake the MLU in 2027 and 2028, but will now undertake a portion of the work in 2025 and a portion of work in 2032. This way, the ship, which entered service in 2014, will have to spend less time alongside and be more available for operational tasking, the navy argued.
HNLMS Karel Doorman will receive the anti-aircraft missiles and the 76mm gun, a combination that will replace the Goalkeeper close-in weapon system currently in use.
In addition to the Joint Logistic Support Ship, the new systems will be installed on the current landing platform docks (HNLMS Rotterdam and HNLMS Johan de Witt), and the anti-submarine warfare frigates that will enter service from 2028.
In addition to the new missile and gun capability, the Joint Support Ship is also set to receive Pharos radar, which will allow the 76mm gun to target aerial threats with radar-guided grenades.
The Joint Support Ship is both a supply vessel and a transport vessel. In a fleet context, the ship provides Dutch and foreign naval vessels with fuel, ammunition, food and drinking water. Furthermore, the ship can transport heavy equipment, embarking on board dozens of vehicles.
The ship can also be used for so-called sea basing. In that case, the vessel supports operations on land from sea, including with helicopters or landing craft.