Belgian navy to get third patrol ship
The Belgian navy is getting a third patrol vessel to patrol the Belgian sector of the North Sea. Belgium currently possesses two patrol ships, the Castor and the Pollux. In succession the two vessels each work a 24-hour shift patrolling Belgian and Dutch territorial waters.
The vessels monitor non-NATO vessels sailing along the coast and carry out environmental checks as well as checks on fishing. The Castor and Pollux also support other government agencies e.g. in the search to track down and/or rescue migrants at sea.
Lawmaker Jasper Pillen believes a third ship is more than needed. He points to the recent presence of a Russian spy ship in Belgian territorial waters: “We are filling our part of the North Sea with windfarms and energy and communication pipelines that need to be properly protected. Patrol ships are ideal for this purpose as they can easily track down and shadow Russian spy ships”.