December 27, 2007:¬† The Netherlands is building four corvettes
for offshore patrol. These 3,700 ton, 335 foot long ships are large for "coast
guard" operations, but that's because the Dutch want to be able to send them to
distant locations for peacekeeping, if needed. The OPVs (offshore patrol
vessels) are armed with one 76mm gun and two 12.7mm machine-guns. The ship is
run by a crew of fifty, although there is berthing for an additional 40 people.
Top speed is 40 kilometers an hour. Each OPV will cost¬† $170 million. The lower cost (than most
warships of that size) is due to the relative lack of weapons and high end electronics.
These ships are expected to enter service over the next five years.