The Belgian government has given the green light for its defence department to acquire six new mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels.
The €1.1billion (US$1.3 billion) order will be placed jointly with the Netherlands Navy, which will acquire an identical number of MCMs.
The two countries are also collaborating on new frigates, with two units for each country, as part of the Belgian-Dutch Next Generation concept.
Belgium will take charge of MCM acquisition. The Netherlands will lead the frigate project.
The MCM project will include unmanned surface, aerial and underwater vehicles alongside towed sonars and mine identification and neutralisation remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs).
The vessels will replace current Tripartite-class minehunters and the command and support ship BNS Godetia.
Baird Maritime is one of the world's premier maritime publishing houses with headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and a publishing subsidiary in Hong Kong. The group produces two monthly magazines, Ausmarine and Work Boat World and a number of annual publications all focusing on various aspects of the commercial, government and military marine industries. It also presents this maritime portal.