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Naval Group selected by Dutch MoD for next phase of Walrus-class submarines replacement program


The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MOD) has selected French Company Naval Group to enter the next phase in the selection process for the Submarine Replacement program. In November 2014, the Dutch Minister of Defence announced plans to replace the Walrus-class submarines in 2025.


Naval Group selected by Dutch MoD for next phase of Walrus class submarines replacement 925 001 Walrus-class submarine of Dutch Navy. (Picture source Navy Recognition)


The Dutch government has announced its intent to buy four submarines to replace Walrus-class ships last year. The contract is estimated to be worth around $3 billion.

In November 2019, French Naval Group has presented its Barracuda-family submarine with Transfer of Technology (ToT) for Netherlands’ Walrus replacement program at the NIDV's Defence & Security exhibition in Rotterdam city, Netherlands,

On December 13th 2019, the Netherlands MOD announced that three parties are invited to enter the next phase of the Netherlands Submarine Replacement programme. Naval Group is thankful to be one of the designers selected for this strategic programme.

Naval Group looks forward to entering in-depth technical cooperation with DMO to conduct this joint-design phase in close association with the involved stakeholders. The Group strongly believes that the envisaged operational profile is very much in line with the mission capabilities of the conventionally powered Barracuda family submarine.

Naval Group thankfully acknowledges this new phase, which will allow the joint in-depth design process to be translated into a full industrial solution, optimizing operational and technical capabilities through the long-term involvement of the Dutch maritime ecosystem.

With a proven track-record of knowledge sharing and industrial cooperation, Naval Group has already been honored to form a strong partnership with Royal IHC, a company specialized in complex systems integration and subsea systems. The Group is thankful for Royal IHC’s trust in its submarine design and knowledge sharing capacities.

To reinforce this existing bond, numerous industrial partners and knowledge institutes will be closely associated and consulted at every major design decision point to make sure that the future submarine programme builds up and maintains full Dutch autonomy over the complete submarine lifecycle.

Dave Vander Heyde, CEO Royal IHC: “Building a large Dutch submarine alliance with industry and knowledge institutes in the Netherlands is essential for strengthening the Netherlands Defense Technology & Industrial base. By transferring Naval Groups knowledge to MoD, Royal IHC and other partners, the Netherlands will be able to carry out its core tasks autonomously. We look forward to further intensify our cooperation with Naval Group, and invite other Dutch companies to join!”

The Walrus-class submarine is the only submarine class currently in operation in the Royal Netherlands Navy. The boats have been in service since 1990.  The Walrus-class fleet of Dutch Navy comprises four ships, which include the S802 Walrus, S803 Zeeleeuw, S808 Dolfijn and S810 Bruinvis. 

The design of the Walrus-class ships is based on the basic hull line of the Zwaardvis-class submarines. She has similar outline and dimensions to that of her predecessor Zwaardvis. The Walrus-class submarine boasts a twin-hull configuration in teardrop shape to achieve increased underwater speed and a smaller acoustic signature. It is powered by diesel-electric propulsion systems. There are three SEMPT-Pielstick 12-cylinder, four-stroke diesel engines. The lone main motor is an electric motor is manufactured by Holec.

The submarines are armed with four 21in Honeywell Mk 48 Mod 4 and Mk 48 ADCAP. The ships can carry 40 mines in lieu of torpedoes.

They can also be equipped with McDonnell Douglas Sub-Harpoon surface-to-surface missile (SSM). The Dutch government, however, has not purchased any SSMs for the submarines.