The Belgian Navy (Marinecomponent/Composante marine) frigate Louise-Marie (F931) fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile for the first time on Wednesday, May 30th. Louise-Marie (F931) is a Karel Doorman-class frigate of the Marine Component of the Belgian Armed Forces that was commissioned in 2008. The event took place as part of the Mjoelner International missile exercise held in the far north of Norway. The ship was decked out with its heaviest weapons for a week.
Mjoelner or Mjölnir is the name of Thor’s hammer in Norse mythology. A fitting name for an exercise held May 28 to May 31, during which six naval vessels deployed a complete arsenal against all kinds of simulated threats. The trainings took place mainly at night because the traffic at sea is less intense. In northern Norway, visibility was not really a problem because there is daylight 24 hours a day during the summer.
The Harpoon is an important part of the arsenal of Belgian frigates. This missile is their main weapon against for anti-surface warfare. Because of its high cost and limited stock, Belgium had never used it until now. The target was a radar reflector on a raft about 17 nautical miles (about 31.5 km) from the ship. The missile struck the reflector at a speed slightly lower than Mach 1 (330 meters per second) in just under two minutes.
Belgian Navy Frigate Louise-Marie (F931) is the second of the two frigates of this class that were purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy on 22 December 2005. During its service in the Netherlands, it was known as HNLMS Willem van der Zaan (F829).
HNLMS Willem van der Zaan was rechristened Louise-Marie (F931) on 8 April 2008 in Antwerp by Queen Paola of Belgium. It was named after Louise-Marie, the name of a naval vessel purchased by the Belgian navy in 1840, which in turn was named after Queen Louise-Marie of Belgium, the wife of Leopold I.