Dutch submarine arrives in Portsmouth

Submarine arrives in Portsmouth Photo: Royal Navy

Portsmouth has welcomed a submarine to the city for the first time in two years.

HMNLS Walrus and her 62 crew are on her way back to the Netherlands. They’ve been carrying out sea training with the Royal Navy. alongside HMS Argyll, HMS Montrose, RFA Tidespring, 820 Naval Air Squadron and HNoMS Helge Ingstad off the coast of Plymouth.

The submarine is on it’s way back to the Netherlands but has stopped in Portsmouth for the weekend.

“We are here in Portsmouth for some rest and recreation.For the past three weeks we have been working with FOST.

“During those exercises we’ve been acting as a hostile submarine, so our main task was to search for the frigates and the main target,RFA Tidespring in order to test the boat and her crew.”

– Lt Cdr Jan-Willem Vroegop, Commanding Officer, HMNLS Walrus

The submarine is on it’s way back to the Netherlands Credit: Royal Navy

The Walrus, which was commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1992, is equipped with four 21-inch torpedo tubes and 20 Honeywell torpedoes. The boat specialises in stealth missions. It’s a diesel submarine, 68 metres in length and can remain submerged for very long periods.

It’s the first time in 2 years a submarine has arrived in the city Credit: Royal Navy

“We work with the Royal Navy quite a lot, training with FOST. Usually we go to Plymouth but sometimes we come to Portsmouth.”

– Lt Cdr Jan-Willem Vroegop, Commanding Officer, HMNLS Walrus

Increasing numbers of NATO and foreign units participate in training under the guidance of FOST.

820 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has also spent the last few weeks working with the Dutch submarine, engaging in a friendly cat-and-mouse style game of hide and seek.

With the submarine trying to evade detection and the helicopter trying to find and “destroy” them.

The submarine has been involved in a ‘cat & mouse’ style exercise Credit: Royal Navy

“As Merlin Mk2 Aircrew, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) is our primary role. The opportunity to test our submarine-hunting skills against the highly professional Royal Netherlands Navy submarine crew was fantastic.”

– Lt Cdr Karen Barnicoat, Senior Observer, 820 Naval Air Squadron

HMNLS Walrus will spend the weekend in Portsmouth before resuming her training off the South Coast. She’s due to return home in March.