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Kortenaer class frigate to Iran

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  • Kortenaer class frigate to Iran

    In 1978 the Irianian government ordered 8 Kortenaer class frigates.
    The order was challenged later. Was this Iranian frigates different from the Dutch?

  • #2
    Kortenaer Class Frigates

    The Kortenaer Class or S-type frigates of the RNLN were commisioned from 1977 or so (HNLMS Kortenaer) to 1983 (HNLMS Bloys van Treslong).

    From March to July 1979 a trip was planned by a RNLN task force consisting of four ships to show the flag and aid Dutch industry in selling its products, most importantly frigates. This trip became known as the "Far East Australia Cruise" and along went as Flagship Guided Missile Frigate HNLMS Tromp, the old Destroyer HNLMS Drenthe, AOR HNLMS Poolster and Standard Frigate HNLMS Kortenaer. I went along on this trip aboard HNLMS Tromp.

    Originally this trip included a port visit to Bandar Abbas in Iran but a short time before we left Holland the Islamic revolution took place in Iran, Ayatolla Khomeiny ousted Sjah Rezah Pahlavi and that port was renamed to Bandar Khomeiny. Somehow our itinerary changed and we spent Easter weekend in Bombay, India instead. Other ports visited included Tnger, Marocco; Alexandria, Egypt; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia (to which coutry we later sold 6 van Speijk Class or Leander frigates) and Freemantle/Perth, Australia where HNLMS Kortenaer underwent a Rolce Royce Gas Turbine change in Geraldton as a demonstration to the Australian Navy who were very interested. Unfortunately the RAN decided to go for the German competition for their order of frigates. On the way back we visited Diego Garcia and the group split for the last port visit between Istanbul (where I went aboard Tromp, along with Poolster) and some Greek port where Kortenaer and Drenthe went. In all ports we visited, a large delegation of Dutch businessmen were flown in to host a trade show to the local authorities, navy and industry.

    I never quite understood why Bandar Abbas was included in the itinerary in the first place but if the Sjah was interested in buying frigates that would explain why I suppose. Iran wasn't the only country interested in these frigates as Greece decided to buy two S-type frigates out of the original production series of 12 straight from the shipyard. This enabled the RNLN to build the two ship L-type or Jacob van Heemskerck class of Air Defense frigates whose design was adapted from the S-type.

    Over the past years the Hellenic Navy took over all but two of the class that became superfluous due to fleet modernisation programmes or budget cuts. Two were sold to the U.A.E. and only the last of the class, HNLMS Bloys van Treslong remains in active service with the RNLN today. She will be decommissioned in the near future after finishing her current tour of duty in the Carribean and most likely also be sold to the Hellenic Navy.


    Paul Joosten