Damen-Saab duo unveils Walrus-replacement submarine design

Swedish submarine specialist Saab and its Dutch partner Damen have unveiled official images of their proposal for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus-class submarine replacement program.

Photo: Damen

Speaking to Dutch newspaper Telegraaf, the heads of two companies provided drawings and first details on the capabilities of their submarine proposal.

According to the images released by the companies, the submarine would be based on Saab’s export variant of the A26 air-independent propulsion submarine the company is building for the Swedish Navy.

Speaking to the Telegraaf, Damen managing director Hein van Ameijden and Saab Kockums head Gunnar Wieslander noted that the modular design of the boat would allow Dutch companies to implement their products in the submarine and to renew them easily during the life cycle.

They further said that the special forces launcher, placed next to the torpedo tubes in the nose of the boat would allow divers to swim out horizontally. Thanks to a diameter of one and a half meters, the pipe will be wide enough to launch miniature sea-going vessels, both manned and unmanned, it was further said.

Saab and Damen have been working on a proposal for the Dutch Navy’s Walrus replacement program since signing a teaming agreement in January 2015.

The Dutch defense ministry expects the Walrus replacement program to cost over 2.5 billion euro. Contracts for the submarine construction are expected to be awarded in 2021 with the first submarine arriving in 2027.

Crew accomodation, both for the regular crew and special forces. Photo: Damen