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The delivery of 2 former Royal Netherlands Navy Tripartite Class Minehunters to the Pakistan Navy is underway. The ships, HNLMS Middelburg (M858) & HNLMS Haarlem (M853), were loaded onto the UHL FAME on the 21st of Sep at the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The transport ship, UHL FAME, is currently near Italy and heading for its next stop in Egypt. The transport ship will arrive in Pakistan by the end of October, and the minehunters will be commissioned into service by the subsequent month.
A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys enemy naval mines. A minehunter uses an imaging sonar to detect and classify targets and then sends out divers or remotely operated vehicles to inspect and neutralize the threat.
Pakistan Navy already has three Tripartite Class (known as Éridan Class in France) minehunters acquired from France (locally known as Munsif Class). The Tripartite Class is a class of 630-tonne minehunters developed jointly by France, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
The ships in Pakistani service have Elesco MKR 400 acoustic sweep and MKR 960 magnetic sweeps for minesweeping duties. The ships have a range of 5,600 km and are armed with a 20 mm modèle F2 gun as a naval defense weapon and two 12.7 mm machine guns.
The Alkmaar Class is further upgraded with improved electronics, including Atlas Elektronik INCMS combat data system, Thales 2022 Mk III hull-mounted sonar, Atlas Seafox Mine Identification, and Disposal System, and a Double Eagle Mk III Mod 1 ROV.