Netherlands - De Zeven Provincien Class Destroyer

Rewritten October 2001

de_zeven_provincien.jpg (12922 bytes)
De Zeven Provincien Class Destroyer

Program Status: In Progress. The first unit of the class (De Zeven Provincien) was launched 08 April 2000, commenced sea trials during the summer of 2001, and will be commissioned in March 2002.

Operational Requirement: The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNlN) has a requirement for a new anti-air warfare (AAW) platform able to provide area air defense for deployed collective security and peacekeeping operations. The new combatant should also have a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) capability. A sophisticated command and control capability is needed so that the units can serve as task group command ships.

Program Background: The Staff Requirement for the De Zeven Provincien class destroyer (also known as the Luchtverdedigings en Commando Fregat (LCF) Program) dates to 1991, when the RNlN began planning for the replacement of the Tromp and Jacob Van Heemskerck class frigates. The Tromp and Jacob Van Heemskerck classes were commissioned in the 1970s and 1980s. Royal Schelde, supported by Nevesbu, was awarded a project definition contract on 15 December 1993, and a detailed design and construction contract for the first two units in on 30 June 1995. On 05 February 1997, Royal Schelde (now owned by Damen Shipyard Group) was awarded the construction contract for the second two units.

The RNlN has managed the LCF Program as part of the Trilateral Frigate Cooperation (TFC) Program, which was established by Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain in the early 90s. The TFC program was a cooperative effort intended to identify common components, facilitate joint procurements, and minimize development costs. The TFC Program allowed each country to pursue its own combatant design (The RNlN De Zeven Provincien, the German Sachsen/F 124, and the Spanish F-100 classes), so no standing TFC program was needed. Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed, however, between the Governments of Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, and their respective shipyards (Blohm + Voss, Royal Schelde, and Empresa Nacional Bazan) to facilitate the exchange of ship designs.

The TFC "commonalization" efforts focused on the development of a common anti-air warfare system (AAWS). The AAWS collaboration between the Netherlands, Germany and Spain was designed to cap total costs at US$475M by procuring common systems wherever possible. However, in June 1995 Spain withdrew from the TFC AAWS development effort, opting for a combat system solution based on the US Navy’s AEGIS system. Germany and the Netherlands continued with their AAWS work and settled on the Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) as the basis for the system. In November 1995, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada signed an MoU for APAR development, and Thales Nederland was awarded a US$125 million contract, which resulted in the first unit in 2000.

Although the RNlN refers to the new ships as frigates, their size (over 6,000 tons) and AAW capabilities clearly place the De Zeven Provincien class within the destroyer ship type.

Program Acquisition Plan: Royal Schelde is under contract to build all four units of the De Zeven Provincien class at their shipyard in Vlissingen. The first unit (De Zeven Provincien) was launched on 08 April 2001, and will be commissioned in March 2002. Units two (De Ruyter), three (Tromp), and four (Evertsen) will commission from 2003 through 2006.

The four-ship program, including integrated logistics support, training, and other costs, is budgeted for US$1.61B (approximately US$400M per ship). This price is probably low for so capable a platform, suggesting that additional funding will be required as construction progresses.

The first two units of the De Zeven Provincien class will replace the one remaining unit of the Tromp class, which was commissioned in 1976. Initial reports indicated the Tromp class would be made available for export to Indonesia, however that appears unlikely in view of Indonesia’s continued economic and political difficulties. The second two units of the De Zeven Provincien class will replace the two units of the Jacob Van Heemskerck class. These two ships are still relatively young (both were commissioned in 1986 and their service life is theoretically estimated as lasting until 2012) and will probably be offered for export sale.

The construction schedule for the De Zeven Provincien class is as follows:



Laid Down




De Zeven Provincien

Sep 1, 1998

08 Apr 00

Mar 2002


De Ruyter

Sep 1999

July 2001

Mar 2003



Sep 2000

July 2002

Mar 2004



Sep 2001

July 2004

Mar 2006

Design and Construction Considerations: All four units of the De Zeven Provincien class will be built at Royal Schelde’s shipyard in Vlissingen. The AAWS radar and infrared sensors will be provided by Thales Nederland, and the RNlN’s Center for the Automation of Weapon and Command Systems (CAWCS) is responsible for developing the SEWACO XI combat management system. The first two units of the class (De Zeven Provincien and De Ruyter) are being built with extensive command and control facilities, while units three and four (Tromp and Evertsen) will be "fitted for but not with" these facilities.

A. Hull and Mechanical. The De Zeven Provincien class incorporates hull and superstructure features intended to reduce the ship’s radar and infrared signature. The class is not being built to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hull shock standards normally applied to ships of their size. However, in another measure to enhance survivability, the ships are being built with double-plated steel blast and fragmentation resistant bulkheads. These bulkheads, referred to as PriMa, can divide the ships into seven autonomous internal zones. The PriMa bulkheads were designed by the RNlN in collaboration with the TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory (TNO-PML).

The combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) propulsion system is powered by two Rolls Royce SPEY SM1C gas turbines and two Stork-Wartsila 16V W26ST diesel engines. The SM1A gas turbines in the Karel Doorman class were found to be underpowered for the larger De Zeven Provincien design, so the Rolls Royce SM1C engine was chosen over the GE LM2500. The diesel competitors were MTU, Stork Wärtsilä, Bazan, Deutz/MWM, and SEMT Pielstick; and Stork won with the 16V6ST.

Royal Schelde has contracted with GEC Alsthom Paxman Diesels to supply diesel generator sets for the De Zeven Provincien class. Each ship set will consist of four 12VP185 high-speed diesels, each generating 1,650kW. The RNlN selected ABB auxiliary electric motors for the class. The 110kW, 75kW and 2.2kW motors will drive fans and pumps throughout the ships, and are shock-tested up to 32g for the smallest type. This is the first time the RNlN has used commercial pumps, and ABB met the shock and noise limits with strengthened foot mountings and end shields of nodular cast iron.

ImTech Marine & Industry (formerly van Rietschoten & Houwens) together with CAE Electronics Ltd. is providing the integrated platform management system (IPMS).

B. Anti-Air Warfare System (AAWS). The AAWS is based on the APAR multi-function radar, the SMART-L three-dimensional long-range radar, and the SIRIUS long-range infrared system. Thales Nederland is providing all three of these sensors. The primary AAW weapons systems, both produced by Raytheon, are the Standard SM-2 long-range surface-to-air missile, and the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM). The SM-2 and ESSM will both be stored and launched from a 40-cell Lockheed Martin Mk41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). The Close-in-Weapons-System (CIWS) will consist of two Thales Nederland Goalkeeper 30mm guns.

1. APAR: The APAR multi-function radar has 800 quad-mounted, grouped gallium-arsenide MMIC transmit/receive modules mounted on each of four sides of a non-rotational antenna. Each "panel" has 120 degree in azimuth for complete all-around coverage. Newest specs are: 360x70 degree spatial coverage and a range of 150 kilometers (93nm). More than 250 targets can be tracked simultaneously. Its pencil beams will have a +/- 60-degree off centerline shifting capability. The radar’s function include horizon search (out to 75 kilometers (46.5nm)), missile guidance, surface gunfire control support, cued search (to confirm and gather more data about targets detected by other sensors), back up volume search (out to 150 kilometer) and surface search and track (out to 32 kilometer (19.8nm)). It operates in the X-band (I/J band) using a high frequency bracket between 8-13 GHz (by comparison, the SPY-1D AEGIS radar operates in the S-band between 2-4 GHz) allowing a lighter weight and eliminating the need for dedicated illuminators for the NATO Sea Sparrow and ESSM missiles. On 09 December 1998, the RNlN signed a contract with Signaal (now Thales Nederland) for series production of four APAR systems for installation in the De Zeven Provincien class. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

2. SMART-L: The MoD contracted with Signaal (now Thales Nederland) in July of 1991 (for US$25 million) to continue development of its SMART-L long-range version (up to 400 km (248nm)) of the Signaal Multi-beam Acquisition Radar for Targeting (SMART). On 24 February 1998, Signaal signed a contract with the RNlN to supply four of the SMART-L radar systems for installation in the De Zeven Provincien class. The SMART-L system is expected to cost approximately US$9M per ship set. The SMART-L will replace functions found in both the SMART-S medium range radar and the LW-08 long-range surveillance radar. Rotating at 12 rpm, SMART-L uses an antenna made up of 24 linear arrays, 16 of which are used for transmission and all for reception. The received radar energy is processed by the 24 receiver channels and is fed into a beam-forming network in which the 14 beams are formed to provide elevation coverage from zero to seventy degrees.

3. SIRIUS: Signaal (now Thales Nederland) has developed a dual-band infrared search and track sensor called SIRIUS, a long-range derivative of IRSCAN.

4. Standard SM-2: On 16 September 1998, the US Department of Defense (DOD) announced that the Government of the Netherlands had purchased 24 SM-2 Block IIIA Standard missiles (16 tactical missiles with warheads and eight telemetry missiles) for approximately US$24M. Also included in the purchase were containers, canisters, spare and repair parts, supply support, engineering technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics support. No offset agreements were proposed with the sale.

C. Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD): In the future, the RNlN will probably acquire the SM-2 Block IVA for Lower Tier Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). A feasibility study was ordered in October 2000 by the RNlN and German Navy to explore the possibility of adding the Maritime TBMD capability to the De Zeven Provincien and F-124 Saschen classes.

D. Anti-Surface Warfare Systems (ASUW). The De Zeven Provincien class will be equipped with eight Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and a single OTO Breda 5 inch (127mm) L/54 lightweight gun.

E. Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems (ASW). The RNlN ordered four DSQS-24C hull-mounted sonars from STN Atlas Elektronik for installation in the De Zeven Provincien class. Deliveries began in 2000. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

F. Combat Management System (CMS). The RNlN’s own Center for Automation of Weapon and Command Systems (CAWS) is developing an advanced combat management system (CMS) for the LCF Program, designated the SEWACO XI. Work on SEWACO XI began in August 1998, and operational software will be delivered incrementally until 2003. Early software deliveries, designated Interim Operational Capability (IOC) will allow the first ship of the class to begin sea trials in 2001 (IOC 1), and conduct missile-firing trials in 2002 (IOC 2). On 29 May 1998, Signaal (now Thales Nederland) was awarded a US$74.6M contract to provide most of the equipment needed for the SEWACO XI CMS. Hardware includes 96 new generation multifunction operator consoles, 152 desktop workstations, 144 PROTEC II protective cabinets (36 per ship), and ATM digital data fiber-optic networks (including switches, fiber patch panels, and video bus). The RNlN intends to maintain below-deck commonality with the existing SEWACO VII architecture found in the Karel Doorman class frigates.

G. Electronic Warfare (EW) System. Racal Radar Defense Systems was selected to supply its new Sabre integrated electronic warfare system in the De Zeven Provincien class. Racal was selected in competition over Dasa, Thomson-CSF, and ARGO Systems Inc. (now Condor Systems), which was offering its APECS II integrated electronic warfare (EW) system. The Racal contract, signed on 10 December 1998, was valued at US$50.5M. Delivery of the first of the four Sabre ship sets is started in late 2000. The Sabre integrated EW suite combines technologies drawn from a number of surface and airborne EW programs. Sabre includes a 0.5-18GHz electronic support measures (ESM) subsystem that is derived from the UK Royal Navy’s Outfit UAT equipment, and a 7.5-18GHz electronic countermeasures (ECM) subsystem based on the same system developed for the Nimrod MPA. The Sabre system also includes a masthead ESM antenna/processor assembly, two above-decks ECM transmitter units, two ECM equipment units, and a below-decks ESM cabinet. No dedicated EW operator console was required by the RNlN; rather, the EW situation will be displayed and controlled from one of the multifunction consoles that form the SEWACO XI CMS. The Racal contract includes an offset commitment equal to 100% of the contract value. This will be achieved through Dutch industry participation in the Local Area Subsystem being developed by Racal and Thomson-CSF for the UK’s Bowman battlefield communication system.

H. Communications Systems: Rohde & Schwarz has been contracted to integrate the internal and external communications systems fitted in the four De Zeven Provincien class destroyers. Deliverables include the intercom and public address system; and the HF, VHF, UHF, and SATCOM radio systems. The communications suite also includes an HF broadband system that helps to reduce the number of onboard antennas, and the SATURN UHF frequency-agile radio transceiver. The Portuguese company, FABA/EID will partner with Rohde & Schwarz on the contract. Rohde & Schwarz also was the communications supplier for the Rotterdam class LPD.

Ship Characteristics:

Vessel Type





De Zeven Provincien Luchtverdedigings en Commando Fregat (LCF) (De Zeven Provincien class Air Defense and Command Frigate)

Total Number


Unit Cost (US$)



Royal Schelde (Damen Shipyard Group)

Displ. Tons



144.24m (473.2ft)


18.82m (61.7ft)


5.1m (16.7ft)


Combined Diesel or Gas Turbine (CODOG): Two Rolls Royce Spey SM1C gas turbines (52,300hp/39MW); two Stork-Wartsila 16V26ST diesels (13,600hp/10MW); two shafts; two controllable pitch propellers.

Speed (Knots)

30 kts (turbines); 19 kts (diesels)


5,000nm at 18kts


202 (including 32 officers, 47 non-commissioned officers, and 123 ratings) plus accommodations for 30 additional personnel.


Guns: One OTOBreda 5 inch (127mm)/54 gun; two Oerlikon Contraves 20mm machine guns.

Close-in-Weapons System (CIWS): Two Thales Nederland SGE-30 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS.

Torpedoes: Four 323mm (two twin) Mk 32 Mod 9 fixed torpedo launchers for Raytheon Mk 46 Mod 5 lightweight anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedoes.


Surface-to-Surface missiles (SSMs): Eight Boeing Harpoon SSMs in two quad cannisters.

Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs): Lockheed Martin Mk 41 40-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) for the Raytheon Standard SM-2 Block IIIA missiles (Block IV may be acquired later) and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) in a quad pack.

CMS/Fire Control

Combat Management System (CMS): Thales Nederland SEWACO XI

Fire Control: Thales Nederland Sirius IRST optronic director.


Air Search: Thales Nederland SMART-L

Multi-function radar (air/surface search and fire control): Thales Nederland APAR

Surface Search: Thales Nederland Scout (I band).


Electronic Support Measures (ESM)/Electronic Countermeasures (ECM): Racal Sabre integrated EW system (intercept and jammer).

Decoys: Four SRBOC Mk 36 chaff launcher.

Torpedo Decoys: Northrop Grumman AN/SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy.


STN Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24C hull-mounted active search and attack sonar (medium frequency).


Platform and hanger for one EH-101 or Lynx helicopter.

Key Personnel:

  • Royal Netherlands Navy
Jaap Huisman
LCF Project Manager
Royal Netherlands Navy Directorate of Materiel – Procurement Division
V.D. Burchlaan 31, P.O. Box 20702
NL-2500 ES The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 70 316 9111
Fax +31 70 316 2281
  • Royal Schelde
R. van de Graaf
LCF Marketing Manager
Royal Schelde
Glacisstraat 165, P.O. Box 16
4380 AA Vlissingen
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 1184 821 18
Fax +31 1184 850 10
  • Schelde Shipbuilding BV (Damen Shipyard Group)
Mr. P.E. Denis
Managing Director
Schelde Shipbuilding BV
Glacisstraat 165, PO Box 555
NL-4380 AN Vlissingen
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 1184 850 00
Fax: + 31 1184 850 50

Raytheon Systems Company

Mr. Steve Letter
International Marketing Manager – Sea Sparrow + ESSM
Raytheon Systems Company
1151 East Hermans Road
Building 807 MS A8
Tucson, Arizona 85706
United States
Tel: + 1 520 794 5318
Fax: + 1 520 794 6981
  • Raytheon Systems Company
Ms. Carol Bujold
Naval and Maritime Integrated Systems
Raytheon Systems Company
1847 West Main Road
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
United States 02871-2050
Tel: + 401 842 2050
Fax: + 401 842 5205
  • Lockheed Martin Shipboard Systems
Mr. Geoffrey R. Moss
Manager, Mk 41 VLS International Business Development
Lockheed Martin Shipboard Systems
PO Box 4931
Baltimore, Maryland 21220-0931
United States
Tel: + 1 410 682 1238
Fax: + 1 410 682 1082
  • Alenia Difesa OTOBreda Division

Mr. Berto Nardini
Marketing and Sales Director, Naval Weapon Systems (Medium Caliber Guns)
Alenia Difesa OTOBreda Division
Via Valdilocchi 15
Casella Postalle 337
19136 La Spezia
Tel: + 39 0187 58 2453
Fax: + 30 0187 58 2415
  • Thales Naval Nederland
Mr. Sander van der Schoot
Business Unit Director Radar and Sensors
Thales Naval Nederland
Zuidelijke Havenweg 40
PO Box 42 7550 GD Hengelo
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 0 74 248 8111
Fax: + + 31 0 74 248 5936
  • STN Atlas Elektronik GmbH
Dr. Heino Dobiasch
Naval Systems Division
STN Atlas Elektronik GmbH
Sebaldsbrucker Heerstrasse 235
D-28305 Bremen, Germany
Tel: + 49 421 457 - 0
Fax: + 49 421 457 - 29 00
Telex: 2 457 460 ae d
  • Boeing Information, Space and Defense Systems
Mr. Robert A. Algorotti
Communications Manager, Weapons Programs
Boeing Information, Space and Defense Systems
PO Box 516
St. Louis, Missouri 63116-0516
Tel: + 1 636 947 2966
  • ImTech Marine and Industry
Mr. Terry F. van Velzen
Director of Marketing and Sales
ImTech Marine and Industry
Sluisjesdijk 155
P.O. Box 5054
3008 AB Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 10 487 1377
Fax: + 31 10 487 1745
  • CAE Electronics Ltd.
Patrice Russo
Marketing Manager Marine Systems
CAE Electronics Ltd.
8585 Cote-de-Liesse
P.O. Box 1800 Saint-Laurent
Quebec, Canada
H4L 4X4
Tel: 1 514 341 6780 Ext 3471
Fax: 1 514 341 7699