Saab-Damen team reveal submarine plan

06 June 2018

An artist’s impression of the Saab-Damen proposal for the Netherland’s Walrus-class submarine replacement. Source: Saab

A Saab-Damen team has revealed an initial design of a submarine that it plans to offer to replace the Royal Netherlands Navy’s incumbent Walrus-class fleet.

The two companies initially joined forces in 2015 to jointly bid for work in a number of markets, stating at the time that the Dutch tender was of particular interest.

Partly derived from Saab Kockums’ A26 submarine, the two companies have designed what they describe as a modular vessel for the Netherlands’ requirement.

Saab and Damen representatives say that a modular approach will allow for many Dutch companies to integrate their systems onto the submarine, and subsequently support them throughout the life of the fleet.

The team is working alongside a number of Dutch companies and institutions to offer the replacement, which is stressed by the two companies as being of importance to the programme because it will keep investment in country.

The design incorporates a launcher for special forces personnel next to the torpedo launcher in the nose of the vessel, allowing them to swim out horizontally eight at a time.

This is a new feature for a submarine, the companies claim, as previously special forces were required to leave the vessel vertically, one by one.

The 1.5 m-diameter tube will also be wide enough to launch miniature manned or unmanned vessels, they say, and the submarine will be compatible with the Mark 48 torpedo.