Dutch submarine to help NATO combat piracy off Somali coast

  • 28 Jun. 2010 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 28 Jun. 2010 17:31

On the Alliance’s request, the Netherlands has agreed to deploy a submarine as part of multinational efforts to combat piracy off the east coast of Africa, from the Gulf of Aden – one of the busiest global shipping routes – to the Indian Ocean. The submarine will be used to monitor communication between pirate vessels and their warlords on shore, helping to curtail the hijacking of commercial ships for ransoms worth millions in US dollars.

Photograph: Netherlands Ministry of Defence

This will be the first submarine to contribute to NATO’s anti-piracy mission “Operation Ocean Shield” off the horn of Africa. As one of four Walrus-class submarines belonging to the Royal Netherlands Navy, it is one of the most modern non-nuclear submarines. Built with stealth technologies, it is very difficult to detect – even by other submarines – and can remain submerged for long periods.

The submarine will be deployed from the end of September to the end of November 2010.

NATO recently extended Operation Ocean Shield for a further three years. Its current mandate will end in December 2012.