On Saturday 13 May last, Mrs Balkenende-Hoogendijk, spouse of the Dutch prime minister, has christened the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) 'Johan de Witt' in Vlissingen. The ship has been built by order of the Royal Navy by Schelde Marinebouw and will be used for the Marine Corps, among others.
The main tasks for the ship include carrying out amphibious operations, handling amphibious transport capacity and supplying commando facilities. In addition to this, the 'Johan de Witt' can be brought into action for disaster control and humanitarian tasks.
The ship is 176.35 metres long, 29.20 metres wide and has a draught of 5.55 metres. Its total height is about 45 metres. The propulsion of the ship is diesel-electric and it is powered by two pods.
Its maximum speed amounts to 19 knots (35 km an hour). Bolidt Kunststoftoepassing installed the synthetic deck finishing systems.
The LPD 'Johan de Witt' will leave for a trial run in autumn and will be handed over to the Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) after that. From that moment onwards, the ship will sport HMS in front of its name.
The construction of the LPD confirms the leading position that the Royal Navy occupies in the modern deployment of the Dutch Forces. Many international dignitaries attended the christening, including delegates from the Indonesian Navy. In the near future, they will purchase a number of corvettes that are being built by Schelde Marinebouw. Bolidt Kunststoftoepassing will make a valuable contribution to these ships as well.
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