Crist Shipyard in Gdynia, Poland, has held a steel-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of 12 new mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels for the Belgian and Royal Netherlands Navies (RNLN).
The construction of the 82-metre vessels is managed by Kership, a joint venture between French defence shipbuilders Piriou and Naval Group. Each vessel will have space for 30 crewmembers and 33 other personnel and armament including a 40-millimetre naval gun and two 12.7-millimetre machine guns mounted on remote weapon stations.
The first MCM vessel for Belgium is scheduled for commissioning in 2024 while the first vessel for the RNLN will enter service the following year.
Each vessel will operate primarily as a mothership for two 12-metre MCM-optimised unmanned surface vehicles (USVs).
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