The 12,750-ton full load displacement Royal Netherlands Navy “amphibious transport ship” Rotterdam, photographed shortly after her launching on 22 February (only a day under a year since her keel was laid), is scheduled to be delivered this December. The Rotterdam will give the 2,435-strong Royal Netherlands Marines their first seagoing amphibious lift platform, accommodating 611 Marines for up to 30 days without reprovisioning and another 150 for a brief period. The stern docking well is intended to carry four recently ordered 200-ton LCU-1-class landing craft, and the flight deck and hangar will support up to six NH-90-sized helicopters or four British Merlins. Stowage is provided for up to 30 Leopard-2 tanks or up to 160 armored personnel carriers, which can be debarked through prominent side doors on either beam. Built to commercial standards, the Rotterdam has a 16,628 shaft horsepower diesel-electric propulsion plant, supplemented by two 600 horsepower thrusters for low-speed operations. A nearly identical ship, reportedly to be named Galicia, is on order for the Spanish Navy, which hopes to acquire a second.
By A.D. Baker III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World