HomeBussinessThe Netherlands Select Naval Group for its New Submarines - Naval News

The Netherlands Select Naval Group for its New Submarines – Naval News


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The announcement was made today by State Secretary Christophe Van der Maat at the Den Helder naval base:

“After a careful quotation process, Naval Group will build the new submarines for the Dutch MoD. They have succeeded in making a balanced, versatile and realistic offer. Dutch industry also has a strong role to play, an important requirement in the award process.” van der Maat said.

Naval Group, Saab and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems were in December 2019 shortlisted to compete to supply four boats to replace the Royal Netherlands Navy’s four ageing Walrus-class submarines. Naval Group was offering a conventional variant of its Barracuda design known as Blacksword; Saab’s business area Kockums, teamed with Damen, was proposing the C718: An enlarged expeditionary derivative of the A26 submarine being built for the Royal Swedish Navy; and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has bid an evolved ‘Expeditionary’ variant of the Class 212CD design already ordered by Germany and Norway.

The names of the four new submarines of the future “Orca-class” were also revealed:

  • Orka
  • Zwaardvis
  • Barracuda
  • Tijgerhaai

The Dutch industry has a strong role to play in this, an important requirement in this award,” Van der Maat emphasized. “Not only in construction, but also in maintenance. This decision is therefore not only good for the navy and our security interests, but certainly also for Dutch companies and the building of our knowledge position.”

According to a Dutch MoD press release, the 4 new boats are a significant improvement over the in-service Walrus-class. Not only because the design is newer, but also in many other aspects. For example, the ability to launch cruise missiles significantly increases striking power. With the latest sensors and communication systems, the new class is even better equipped than its predecessors to collect, analyze and share intelligence. “Because the boats are larger than submarines designed for operations close to their home base, they can also operate independently for long periods far from home. This combination is rare and means that Dutch submarines are highly regarded within NATO.” the statement added.

The release stresses that the award is provisional:

After the quotation has been assessed in the House of Representatives, the delivery contract will be signed. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) assessed the proposals for an industrial cooperation agreement (ICA). This is intended to strengthen the Dutch Technological and Industrial Base (NLDTIB), consisting of approximately 1,000 companies. The winning yard must contribute to this. It is important that the winning yard must agree on the ICA. This is a condition for the award. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will also be concluded between the Dutch government and France. The MoU contains agreements on usage rights, information security and knowledge exchange, among other things.

The Dutch MoD agreed with Naval Group that it will deliver the first 2 new submarines within 10 years after signing the delivery contract.

Here are Naval News coverage of Naval Group’s proposal at previous events:

UPDATE #1 – Naval Group press release:

The Netherlands selects Naval Group for its Submarine Replacement program

Naval Group has been selected by The Netherlands Ministry of Defence for the Replacement Netherlands Submarine Capability project, based on the Barracuda family expeditionary submarines. This award decision concludes a stringent selection process and opens a period of exclusive discussions leading to the signature of a contract. The Group is eager to engage in the
execution of this important project with its Dutch and European partners.

Naval Group is honoured by the award decision expressed by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MOD). This decision commits the group to implement a full-scale strategic partnership with the Netherlands aimed at supporting the Royal Netherlands Navy submarine service and at intensifying cooperation with the Netherlands’ MOD, industry and R&D partners.

“We are extremely honored to have been selected by the Netherlands following a hard competition and to be involved in this project of strategic importance. The Barracuda family submarine will provide the Royal Netherlands Navy with extended leading edge capabilities satisfying the requirements set by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. We look forward to start working closely with our Dutch partners to successfully execute this major program which contributes to the strategic autonomy of the Netherlands.”

PE Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group.

The Barracuda family capabilities

The Barracuda family selected by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence is a latest-generation submarine which will support and reinforce existing naval forces. Thanks to their extensive operational capabilities and the latest technologies, theses submarines will keep playing a keyrole in protecting the country’s territorial waters and the sea lines of communication, which are key to the liberty of trade. Naval Group thankfully acknowledges the Netherlands choice for its expeditionary submarine, but also for a long-term strategic partnership. As an experienced submarine designer and integrator of submarines for demanding customers, we are committed, to deliver this capability to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

A full-scale cooperation plan aiming at strategic autonomy

A key factor for this project is the strategic autonomy requirement, that we support through an ambitious industrial cooperation plan. This plan will involve Naval Group’s existing network of Dutch partners on key systems and components, ensuring that the Netherlands ecosystem develops and retains expertise and involvement over the submarine life cycle. The Netherlands is a strategic partner for the Group, from materiel to joint R&D projects. We intend to grow that cooperation further and we thank all of our Dutch partners for their support and dedication during the selection phase.

We and our partners are fully mobilized to start delivering a new expeditionary submarine capability to protect the interests of the Netherlands.


Update #2 – French Ministry of the Armed Forces press release

The Dutch government informed the French government of the choice of Naval Group, following the competition relating to the renewal of the Netherlands’ submarine capacity.

This choice will allow the Netherlands to have ocean-class submarines of the highest global standard, thus strengthening the Dutch armed forces as well as European capabilities within NATO. This project will mobilize the Dutch industrial fabric.

A partnership between France and the Netherlands will support this major project in the long term and will contribute to strengthening bilateral defense cooperation.


Update #3 – Royal IHC press release

We extend our congratulations to Naval Group with the award of this contract.

As Dutch shipbuilder Royal IHC, we are proud to contribute to this strategic project, together with broad participation from the Dutch industry. 

Naval Group chose to work with Royal IHC because of our specific and proven knowledge of underwater technology and decades of experience in building complex vessels. Since 2018, IHC Defence team could grow its knowledge on submarine technologies and integration, and benefit from operational expertise in-house.

We also congratulate all those Dutch companies that may contribute to this strategic project for the Netherlands and welcome this choice for the Dutch maritime ecosystem.

The choice is good for the preservation and further development of Dutch knowledge, employment and economy. Due to the highly confidential nature of this project, the exact contribution cannot be disclosed.


Update #4 – TKMS press release

We regret that thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has not been awarded the contract for the Walrus class replacement program as this decision negatively impacts established and universally desired European cooperation and standardization of defense material and technology.

With the already available 212CD submarine design, the Netherlands would not only have benefited from cost efficiencies, training synergies and operational added value thanks to the advanced cooperation with Germany and Norway, but would also have enabled a timely replacement for the Walrus-class submarines.

However, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the world market leader in the field of conventional submarines is well positioned for the coming years and our books are well filled. The current decision in the Dutch submarine program has no impact on the economic situation or on strategic decisions at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

We congratulate Naval Group on their successful bid and will continue to be a dedicated partner to the Netherlands for both present and future requirements of the Royal Dutch Navy and the Dutch Government, whether in the submarine or surface vessel domain.

Furthermore, our focus will remain to invest in collaboration programs in the Euro-Atlantic region in the underwater and surface vessel domain. We are the only German shipyard to have both under one roof and thus offer the potential to become a European champion. The independence of Marine Systems is the starting point for national and European consolidation.


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