The Netherlands has agreed to a NATO request for a submarine to help fight piracy in the Indian Ocean, outgoing Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop announced, while visiting a Dutch Navy patrol in the Gulf of Aden.
The Netherlands is participating in Atalanta, a European Union operation to prevent merchant ships being hijacked by Somali pirates.
The Dutch submarine will join a NATO flotilla in late September, and contribute to the organisation’s Ocean Shield anti-piracy mission until December.
The submarine carries sensitive monitoring equipment which will be helpful in gathering information about the pirates. The cost of using the submarine, estimated at €2.3 million, will be carried by the Dutch foreign ministry.
Sources: www.rnw.nl and ANP