The Royal Netherlands Navy Modifies First Walrus Sub

The Royal Netherlands Navy launched the first modified Walrus class submarine, the Zr. Ms. Zeeleeuw, on December 3.

The launch marks a milestone in the Life Extension Program (LEP) of the Walrus class submarines with the first one now ready to be commissioned.

Zr.Ms. Zeeleeuw has undergone modification and modernization works which were performed by Newesbu, a Dutch naval design and engineering company.

Nevesbu carried out the engineering necessary to allow embedding of all modifications (including the new systems) onboard the submarines. The objective of the Walrus class submarines LEP is to prolong their service life to at least 2025 and to increase their operability in coastal waters, as the company said.

The Zr. Ms. Zeeleeuw will sail with these modifications for one year and afterwards there will be an evaluation of its performance. If the testing is successful, the modification will be implemented on all submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

According to Nevesbu, the LEP officially started in May 2013. Since then, approximately 110-150 people have worked on the large-scale maintenance of the first submarine. The next milestone will take place in March 2016 when the next submarine, the Zr. Ms. Dolfijn will be ready to be launched.