The six Van Speijk class frigates were model for the slightly larger English Leander class frigates. They differed from the Leanders by the wider navigation bridge and the Dutch radars and antennas. They were important ships for the Royal Navy, which would set the tone for later Dutch naval vessels. They were the first ships with a fire control computer on board and the first frigates equipped with guided weapons and an on-board helicopter. The ships were extensively renovated between the years 1977 and 1983 (the midlife modernization). The class was hereafter also called the MLM class. A 76 mm gun came on board. Harpoon surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes were also added to the arsenal. The depth charge mortar on the aft deck had made way for the enlarged helideck for the Lynx helicopter. The crew strength was sharply reduced from 256 to 185 men. In the late 1980s the ships were sold to Indonesia, where they are still in service.
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