The Royal Netherlands Navy has begun its force reduction by reducing the number of Almaar Class minehunters from ten to six.

The navy will phase out one of the two supply ships, oil replenishment vessel HNLMS Zuiderkruis, after its deployment as part of the EU’s operation Atalanta.

Two of its four new Holland Class offshore patrol vessels being built and outfitted will be sold immediately after being constructed.

HNLMS Amsterdam will be retained in service until 2014 and will be replaced by the joint support ship.

The government is reducing spending by €18bn, of which €635m is required to be saved by the Ministry of Defence in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis.