Sold minehunters on their way to Bulgaria

10 - 09 - 2020 / Navy News / 0 comments

Author: Jaime Karremann

Two minehunters, without pennant numbers, left Den Helder on Monday morning and sailed along the Dutch coast towards Amsterdam, to be put on a heavy lift ship. The two ships were towed by Dutch naval tugs Gouwe and Noordzee. The minehunters have been sold by The Netherlands to Bulgaria.

Super Servant 4 leaving Amsterdam with two mine hunters. (Photo: Gerard Meinen)

Monday morning received a message from a reader who lives in an apartment in Egmond aan Zee. Two Alkmaar class mine hunters without pennant numbers were spotted, with tugs Gouwe and Noordzee. A naval spokesperson confirmed that these are the two ships that were sold, ex-HNLMS. Maassluis and ex-Hr.Ms. Hellevoetsluis.

The four ships arrived at the locks of IJmuiden around a few hours later and sailed a short time later to the port of Amsterdam. They were put on the Super Servant 4, a heavy lift ship, in Alaskahaven and in that way transported to Bulgaria.

One day later, on Wednesday the 8th of September, the Super Servant 4, carrying two tiny minehunters, left Amsterdam. Currently, Thursday afternoon, Super Servant 4 is sailing in the Bay of Biscay, to the southwest. Speed 12.7 knots. The ship is expected to arrive in Varna, Bulgaria, on the 21st of September.

2 million euros

Last year, it was announced that the Netherlands had sold two minehunters to Bulgaria. Bulgaria already has Tripartite minehunters and bought the Dutch ships that were decommissioned in 2011 for almost 2 million euros. One ship will be used for active duty and one for spare parts.

The Maassluis and Hellevoetsluis were in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy for 27 and 24 years when they were decommissioned in 2011. The ships were moored in Den Helder for a long time. The Hellevoetsluis was located in Amsterdam at the naval barracks from early 2019 to early 2020. In recent months, the ships have been docked at the Material Maintenance Department (DMI) in Den Helder, awaiting transport.