|The Wielingen class is a class of four multi-functional frigates built for the Belgian Naval Component. The ships are named after sandbanks in the North Sea, not far from the Belgian coast, or searoutes. The lead ship is named after the Wielingen sandbank. |
The Belgian government decided on 22 December 1970 to order four new frigates, which would be built by the Belgian shipyards. These ships would replace the old escortships of the Algerine class. These were put out of service in 1969.
The studies on this project already began in 1964 with the advice of the Dutch Navy and continued in 1971 in cooperation with the two Belgian shipyards, Boelwerf (Temse) and Cockerill (Hoboken - Antwerp). The construction of the ships began in 1974. The four ships, F910 Wielingen, F911 Westdiep, F912 Wandelaar and F913 Westhinder, were commissioned in the following years.
The fourth frigate, the F913 Westhinder, was put out of service in 1993 according to the Delcroix reformation plan. The third ship, the F912 Wandelaar, followed in 2004 and was sold to Bulgaria the same year. The Wielingen and Westdiep were sold to Bulgaria in 2007.