Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz

The Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz is the seventh frigate of the De Zeven Provinciën-class warships of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ship is named after Willem Barentsz the arctic explorer who tried to find the Northeast Passage in 1597, he and his crew survived the arctic winter on Nova Zembla.


From 2009 until 2012 she did several EU and NATO anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and under the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, performing the role of flagship on several of those missions.

Northeast Passage

The Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz became the first non Russian warship to sail the Northeast Passage, from the Atlantic Ocean passing north of Russia through the arctic to the Pacific ocean. Gaining her the nickname IJsvis (ice fish). This was mission was done to tighten the newly formed friendly bonds with Rusia.

After the passage it visited Japan and then the west coast of the USA before crossing the Pacific Ocean and visiting several of the islands there and stopping in New Zealand and Australia, causally avoiding Indonesia. To then continue west to go around the Cape of Good Hope back into the Atlantic Ocean.


Rumours has it that in 2020 during a midlife upgrade the Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz was the first ship of De Zeven Provinciën class that was fitted with Tomahawk missiles, possible carrying nuclear warheads. After the class being designed with that as an option from the start.

Power Generation

Due to all the modern systems cramped into the ship, she is hungry for electrical power. Therefore she is fitted with four diesel generators from Wärtsilä producing 1.680 kW each.


The ship is fitted with a CODAG system, which allows both the gas turbine and the diesel engine to put power on the shaft at the same time.

She is fitted with two independent propulsion lines, each driving a five-bladed CPP. Each with a Wärtsilä 16V26 marine diesel engine of 5,1MW, and a Rolls Royce gas turbine of 19,5MW. Capable of pushing the ship to a speed in excess of 30 knots.

At a fast cruising speed of 18 knots the range is 6.000 nm

Weapons & Armament

  • 1x 127/64 LW Leonardo, on the bow
  • 4x Browning M2 12,7mm machine guns
  • 4x FN MAG 7,62mm machine guns
  • 2x Goalkeeper CIWS, on port forward and one starboard aft
  • Missiles
  • 48-cell Vertical launch system, in the forecastle deck in front of the bridge
  • Containing a mix of:
    • SM-3 Surface to air missiles
    • Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, 4 per cell
    • Tomahawk
  • 8x Harpoon anti-ship missles
  • 2x twin torpedo launchers, with Raytheon Mk46 mod 5 torpedoes

  • Sensors

    The Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz is equipped with two higly advanced radars, allowing it to track balistic missiles into space. And is able to track multiple (up and over 20) highspeed targets/threats at the same time.

    The hardware/software combination is layed out in such a way that the ship can fire guns or missiles in defence of attacks tracked by the sensors, it doesn't matter if they are air, land or water based.

    Hangars & docked vessels

    The Zr.Ms. Willem Barentsz is equipped with a flight deck on the stern and a hanger just forward of it, Carrying one NH-90 Helicopter. Fit for reconnaissance, and anti submarine warfare.

    Willem Barentsz
    Hull number
    Owning Organization
    1 of 7
    18,8m / 61ft
    144m / 473ft
    6.050 tonnes
    30 knots
    Complement / Crew
    169 (20 officers) standard / 207 max
    8 July 2007
    In service

    Cover image: by Johannes Plenio


    Please Login in order to comment!
    31 Dec, 2020 00:07

    I like her nickname! :D A lot of the naval terminology goes right over my head, so I appreciate the tooltips. I feel like I learn something reading your articles.

    Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet