Karel Doorman Class Frigate Ms Van Galen at Zeebrugge

The Karel Doorman class is a class of eight multi-purpose frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy.


The class is also known as the "Multi-purpose" or M class. They are equipped for anti-submarine, anti-air and surface warfare roles.

The ships are named after famous Dutch naval officers, the lead ship being named after Karel Doorman. The eight ships of the class are: Karel Doorman (F827), commissioned 1991, Willem Van Der Zaan (F829), 1991, Tjerk Hiddes (F830), 1992, Van Amstel (F831), 1993, Abraham Van Der Hulst (F832), 1993, Van Nes (F833), 1994, Van Galen (F834), 1994 and Van Spejk (F828), 1995.

These multi-purpose frigates can be used in the anti-submarine, anti-aircraft or surface combat roles. Their armament reflects that.

Their primary armament consists of two quad launchers for the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile, which has a range of 120 kilometres. Backing this up is a 76 mm Oto Melara gun, which has both anti-ship and anti-air capabilities.

Primary air defence is provided by the Sea Sparrow vertical launch system, which uses semi-active radar to find its target and has a range of 14 km. 16 Sea Sparrows are carried. The Goalkeeper system provides close-range air defence. It fires 30 mm rounds and can fire up to 4,000 rounds per minute, with a range of 200 metres to 3 km.

The ship carries one AgustaWestland Lynx SH-14D helicopter for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Lynx is armed with two mk46 torpedoes and dipping sonar and has been upgraded with FLIR (forward-looking infrared) systems 2000HP. All 20 Lynx helicopters of the RNlN are due to be replaced with NH90 helicopters

Each ship is equipped with two twin torpedo launchers, firing Mark 46 torpedoes.


Country of Manufacture Netherlands
Number in Service Netherlands 3, Belgium 2, Portugal 2
Crew 154
Armament Sea Sparrow SAM, Harpoon SSM, Goalkeeper CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes, 1 x Oto Melara 76mm gun, Lynx helicopter
Length 122m
Beam 14.4m
Draught 6.1m
Displacement 3,320 tonnes
Powerplant 2 x Rolls Royce (Spey 1A) gas turbines, 2 x SW 4895 HP diesels
Performance Max speed 29 knots
First of Class 1991