Dutch MoD Issued B-Letter To Naval Group, Saab & TKMS For Walrus SSK Replacement

The shortlisted candidates, from top to bottom: TKMS’ Type 212 Saab Damen’s A26, Naval Group Royal IHC design based on “Barracuda family”

The Dutch Ministry of Defense today issued the B-Letter for the Walrus-class submarine replacement program confirming its intent to procure 4 new submarines and shortlisting three shipbuilders for this procurement process: Naval Group, Saab and TKMS.

This leaves Spanish shipbuilder Navantia out of the race. The competition now enters a “knock-out” phase, with the contract award (D-Letter) expected some time around 2022.

U212CD Submarine

Dutch State Secretary Visser sent the B-Letter (which can be read in full and in Dutch language at this link) to the House today.

The Dutch MOD has opted for a long range, versatile, conventional submarine. The future 4 new boats must be able to operate for a long time, unseen and at a great distance from their home base. Since none of the candidate yards came forward as unanimous winner in the survey, the Defensie Materieel Organisatie DMO will continue the competitive process with Naval Group, Saab Kockums and tkMS. In the next phase (C-Letter), the requirements, award criteria and weighting factors are determined, based on factors such as best boat for the best price, risk management and the elaboration of national security interests and strategic autonomy which will drive the capability requirements of the future submarines.

For the design, construction and maintenance, the Netherlands attaches great importance to the involvement of the Dutch naval construction cluster, including SMEs and knowledge institutes.

“The Dutch naval construction sector must obtain the best possible position in the supply chains of foreign shipyards. A good position as a supplier offers Dutch companies and knowledge institutes the opportunity to increase their own knowledge and skills, from which the Defense organization also benefits. ”


Dutch State Secretary Visser

Because of this important factor, Naval Group of France teamed up with local shipbuilder Royal IHC, Saab of Sweden teamed up with local shipbuilder Damen and TKMS of Germany teamed up with the maintenance site of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Den Helder naval base.

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Saab said in a 13 December press release that it had teamed with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards to develop an expeditionary submarine to replace the Walrus class, based on the Swedish A26 submarine and the experience of the Swedish-designed Collins-class submarine in service with the Royal Australian Navy.

Naval Group has partnered with Dutch systems integration and subsea system company Royal IHC to offer what the French shipbuilder envisaged in a 13 December press release with an operational profile “very much in line with the mission capabilities of the conventionally powered Barracuda family submarine”.

TKMS is offering the U212CD design already in development to meet the joint requirements of Germany and Norway, with Dutch industrial participation and the involvement of technology institutes such as TNO, Marin, and NLR.

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