This class of ships is also known as LCF (Luchtverdedigings- en commandofregat, air defense and command frigate).
According to a Royal Netherlands Navy message posted on social media,The renovation took longer than usual because the LCF renovation program is a long term project. For example, the ship has a new versions of Thales Netherlands’ Smart-L radar and various deck modifications.
Last week, the first leg of the navigation course focused on safe navigation. The ship and its crew showed that they could navigate safely and deal with the dangers of navigation such as: firefighting, rescuing a man overboard, waterways and so on.
“Zr.Ms. De Zeven Provinciën” is the first ship of this type to undergo this transformation. The Dutch navy is now applying the lessons learned from its modernization to the modernization of the frigate “Zr.Ms.Tromp”.
About De Zeven Provinciën-class / LCF Frigates
The Royal Netherlands Navy has 4 air defense and command frigates (LCF) of the De Zeven Provinciën-class. The ships can protect a complete fleet from enemy threats from the sea and from the air (aircraft and missiles). Specialized in anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) vessel, LCF vessels are fitted with 40 Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems which are used to house and launch Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) and SM-2 Block IIIA missiles.
In addition, the ships are equipped to allow the deployable and operational command staff of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Netherlands Maritime Force (NLMARFOR), to control large-scale (maritime) operations.
The De Zeven Provinciën-class consists of:
Zr.Ms. De Zeven Provinciën (F802, commissioned 2002)
Zr.Ms. Tromp (F803, commissioned 2003)
Zr.Ms. De Ruyter (F804, commissioned 2004)
Zr.Ms. Evertsen (F805, commissioned 2005)
LCF upgrade program
SMART-L MM radar
The first-in-class ship received her SMART-L Multi Mission radar upgrade from Thales in March 2019. All four ships of the class will be upgraded with the new radar (and other systems) as part of a modernization programme. This new radar is capable of BMD mission (surveillance and tracking of ballistic missiles) up to 2000 km while simultaneous maintaining the air defence capability.
The LCF mordernization effort includes other systems: Plans were announced in 2018 to acquire the BMD-capable SM-3 surface-to-air missiles (these plans still need to be confirmed). De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates can pass on the tracking and detection data to other sea-based or land-defense BMD assets, including U.S. Navy’s warships, that can deal with a ballistic missile threat.
ESSM Block 2 missiles
On 3 May 2018 the Dutch Secretary of Defence, Barbara Visser, informed the Dutch national parliament that the Raytheon evolved sea sparrow missile (ESSM) aboard the De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates will be upgraded from block 1 to block 2. This upgrade will be completed by 2024 along with a new anti-ship missile (to replace the existing Harpoon). Lastly, the Thales Goalkeepers CIWS will be upgraded to a new version. They will eventually be replaced after 2025 by a new system.
New 127mm main guns
The Dutch Defence Material Organisation (DMO) announced on April 20, that it has selected Italian company Leonardo to supply new 127mm naval gun systems for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s four De Zeven Provinciën-class LCF frigates. The four gun systems would be delivered in the 2025-2026 time-frame and that local company Thales Netherlands will be in charge of their integration with the combat management system (CMS) of the frigates.
- displacement: 6,050 tons
- length: 144 meters
- width: 17 meters
- draft: 7 meters
- speed: 30 knots
- propulsion: 2 Wärtsilä 16 V26 diesel engines (13,600 hp total); 2 Rolls Royce Spey SM 1A gas turbines (52,300 hp total)
- crew: 174 (202 including staff)
- radar: SMART-L MM
- armament: Oto Breda cannon 127mm naval gun
Mark 41 vertical launch system for RIM-162 ESSM and SM-2 Block IIIA
Harpoon anti-ship missile (AGM-84)
Goalkeeper rapid-fire gun
Mark 46 torpedoes
- hangar for NH90 maritime attack helicopter