The first tranche of cutbacks to the Dutch military has been announced as part of wide-ranging austerity measures to tackle the country’s significant budget deficit. By no means hardest hit, the Royal Netherlands Navy is to lose eight ships as the government revealed a 30 per cent reduction in the number of military personnel.

The number of Alkmaar class minehunters is to be reduced from ten to six. Two of the four Holland class OPVs currently in build will not enter service, but are to be sold off as soon as they are finished. The fast combat support ship, HNLMS Zuiderkruis, will be taken out of service at the end of the year upon completion of a deployment to the European Union’s Operation Atalanta mission.

HNLMS Amsterdam, the navy’s other fast combat support ship, will also be withdrawn by 2014. After that the navy’s underway logistics requirements will be met by the JLSS.

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