The Royal Netherlands Navy is set to receive twenty new landing craft to enhance its amphibious capabilities and replace its aging fleet of landing craft vehicle personnel (LCVP) vessels. The new landing craft will be faster, more versatile and better protected than the current ones, and will allow the marines to operate at greater distances from the shore.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence announced on 22 March that it will purchase twelve Littoral Assault Craft (LAC) and eight Littoral Craft Mobility (LCM) from different sources. The LACs will be bought “off the shelf” and modified to fit on board the navy’s large ships, while the LCMs will be developed in collaboration with industry, as they are not available on the market.
The LACs are designed to transport military personnel and light equipment, while the LCMs are larger and can carry heavier vehicles and associated personnel. Both types of landing craft will have modern engines that meet the latest emission standards, and will offer better protection and comfort for those on board in rough seas.
The new landing craft are expected to be delivered between 2025 and 2029, replacing the twelve LCVPs that have been in service since 1998. The LCVPs are nearing the end of their service life and are no longer suitable for the changing nature of amphibious operations, which require more speed, range and survivability.
The navy also decided to reduce the number of fast raiding interception and special forces craft (FRISC), which are mainly used for interception and special operations, and invest in more landing craft instead. This will enable the navy to land an entire squadron of 100 marines with equipment in a single wave of attack.
The landing craft project is part of a larger modernisation effort by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, which also includes the acquisition of new frigates, submarines, support vessels and naval strike missiles. The project has a budget of EUR 100-250 million.