(Belga) The six future naval mine action vessels, ships which will be identical to the six ordered by the Netherlands, will bear the names of Belgian cities – three in Flanders and as many in Wallonia – we learned from military sources on Wednesday.
These new generation ships must equip the navies of the two countries and replace the tripartite mine hunters (CMT) resulting from a Belgian-Franco-Dutch program. They must be delivered between the end of 2024 and 2030. The docking ceremony of the first of the twelve future Belgian and Dutch mine action vessels (MCMs) took place on Tuesday at the Piriou shipyard in Concarneau (Finistère, west of France). France), in the presence of the “bosses” of the Belgian and Dutch armies, Admiral Michel Hofman and General Onno Eichelsheim. They welded a Belgian 2 euro 2021 coin on the keel of the first ship, the Defense Ministry said on its website. The names of the six buildings were revealed on this occasion: they will be the BNS (“Belgian Navy Ships”) Oostende, Tournai, Brugge, Liège, Antwerpen and Rochefort. According to the Defense, “these cities were chosen for their importance in the Belgian maritime world and for historical reasons”. Ostend, Bruges and Antwerp are historically the most important “wet” cities in Belgium. In addition, these three cities had a link with the Navy through the naval base of Kallo as well as the naval barracks of Ostend and Bruges. For Ostend, which was already the godmother city of the last naval command and logistical support ship, the A960 Godetia – withdrawn from service this summer after 55 years of service – and Bruges that of the M906 Breydel, a former ocean minesweeper (1956-1993), “it is the continuation of a beautiful story”, underlined the Defense. (Belga)