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Ships / Frigates / Karel Doorman class

Karel Doorman class

General Facts

  • TYPE


    M-class / Multipurpose class (nickname)

    1984 - 1985

    De Schelde

    1986 - 1995

    Netherlands - De Schelde

    8, all in service


    Multipurpose capability
    Well armed
    High production quality
    Good mobility
    Limited air defense capability
    No stealth


The Karel Doorman class is a class of frigates of Dutch origin. The Karel Doorman class is a multipurpose frigate. It was developed in the mid 1980’s to replace the two Jacob van Heemskerck class frigates and several Kortenaer class frigates. The Karel Doorman class is considered one of the finest Cold War style (non-stealth) frigates.


The Karel Doorman features a conventional layout. The gun and bridge are located at the front. The sensor mast, funnel and command center in the middle. The engines, hangar and helicopter deck are at the rear. The Karel Doorman has reduced radar and IR signatures, but cannon be classified as a stealth ship. Over time the ships have been subject to various updates and from 2009 to 2012 a mid life update is carried out.


Surface targets can be engaged with the Harpoon anti-ship missile and 76mm Super Rapid dual purpose gun. Sea Sparrow missiles in the unusual Mk 48 launchers at the left side of the hanger are used against air targets. Submarines can be engaged by the two twin Mk 46 torpedo launchers and the Lynx helicopter. A 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS and two 20mm Oerlikon are fitted for self-defense.


The Karel Doorman is fitted with the SEWACO VII combat data information system. The SMART surface and air search radar is mounted on top of the sensor mast. An LW08 air search radar is fitted on the hangar. Two STIR fire control radars are used with the Sea Sparrow missile. A PHS-36 hull mounted sonar and a towed array are used for detecting submarines. Countermeasures include a torpedo decoy, SRBOC and ECM systems.


The Karel Doorman is fitted with a CODOG system that consists of two Spey gas turbines and two Wartsila diesels that power two shafts. The maximum speed is 30 knots. The maximum range is 5.000 nm at 18 knots.


A total of 8 ships were build for the Netherlands navy. Due to the introduction of the De Zeven Provincien class destroyers and end of the Cold War the number has been reduced to only 2. Chile, Belgium and Portugal each acquired 2 ships. The Karel Doorman class is expected to remain in service for many years to come.


Karel Doorman class

The Karel Doorman class is a multipurpose frigate of Dutch origin. It is relatively modern and one of the last Western non-stealth frigates, giving it a classical look. The armament allows it to engage land based targets, surface ships, aircraft and submarines.

Crew156 incl 16 officers, plus 7 spare bunks
Displacement3.320 t full load
Length122.3 m overall, 114.2 m waterline
Width14.4 m
Draught4.3 m
Machinery2x Spey SM1C, 33.800 hp
2x Stork-Wartsila 12SW280 diesels, 9.790 hp
Propulsion2 shafts
Speed30 kt
Range5.000 nm at 18 kt
SensorsSurface search: SMART
Surface search: Scout
Air search: LW08
Sonar: PHS-36 hull mounted
Sonar: DSBV 61 towed array
SystemsFire control: 2x STIR
Link 11
Countermeasures2x SRBOC, SLX-25 Nixie torpedo decoy
Aircraft1x Lynx or NH-90
WeaponsGUN: 76mm Super Rapid
SSM: 2x4 Harpoon
SAM: 16x Sea Sparrow
TP: 2x2 Mk 46, CIWS: 30mm Goalkeeper
Weapon176mm OTO Melara Mk 100 Super Rapid
Single gun on forward deck
Two four round launchers amidships
8 rounds, all ready to fire
Weapon3RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
Mk 48 VLS at left side of hanger
16 missiles, all ready to fire
Weapon4Mk 46 torpedo
Two Mk 32 twin launchers
4 torpedoes ready to fire
Weapon530mm SGE-30 Goalkeeper CIWS
Single gun mounted at rear of hanger

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