Royal Netherlands Navy
The Royal Netherlands Navy was founded on the 8th of january 1488 by decree of Maximillian of Austria. Not to be mistaken with the founding date of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, a part of the Royal Netherlands Navy, which was founded on 10 December, 1665, as the "Regiment de Marine", following a concept resolution by Johan de Witt and Michiel de Ruyter which was presented to the parliament (Staten-Generaal) of the United Provinces in August 1665.
The names of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy are prefixed with "Hr.Ms." (Her Majesty's or Harer Majesteits in Dutch). In case of a king this becomes "Zr.Ms." (His Majesty's or Zijner Majesteits in Dutch).
It's a widespread idea among the Netherlands Navy that the highest rank, a full Admiral (admiraal in Dutch, equivalent to Field-Marshal or Fleet Admiral), is reserved for a royal prince or even the king. However, there is nor rule nor law to support this. In fact the rank is officially abandoned in 1956.
The famous Michiel de Ruyter was a lieutenant-admiral (4 star). The last lieutenant-admirals promotod served during the Second World War. Since then only a few navy officers hold the rank when appointed Chief of Defence Staff, a function which circulates between the Navy, Air Force and Army (Army and Air Force officers will become full Generals when being appointed to CDS).
The rank of vice-admiral (3 star) is the most senior rank in use by commanding admirals in the RNLN. Vice Admiral Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich (1886–1962) was a leading Dutch naval figure of World War II.
Table of contents
The constituent parts of the Royal Netherlands Navy are:
- Naval squadron:
- Frigates (thirteen ships in three classes, 10 ships to remain in service).
- Amphibious Transport Ships (one in service and one building, due to enter service in 2007).
- Replenishment Ships (two ships).
- Submarine service:
- Four submarines.
- One torpedo recovery ship.
- Netherlands Marine Corps
- 4 infantry batallions (2 active, 1 reserve, 1 partially active), 1 logistics, 1 amphibious and 1 support battallion
- Naval Air Service
- 2 helicopter sqadrons (21 helicopters)
- Mine Detection and Clearing Service
- Mine hunters (10 remain in service, 3 to be converted to control vessels for mine-sweep drones, 14 of them will be acquired)
- Four diving support vessels.
- Diving medical centre.
- Hydrographical Survey
- Two hydrographical survey ships.
- Other ships
- Two training ships.
- Five large tugs.
- Seven harbour tugs.
- Seventeen landing craft (Used by the Netherlands Marine Corps.)
- One support vessel for the Netherlands Antilles
- One inshore tanker
- Belgian-Dutch naval squadron.
- Coast Guard (Although the Coast Guard is not part of the Navy, it is under its operational control.)
- Royal Netherlands Navy homepage (In Dutch.)