French Naval Group has pitched its Barracuda-family submarine with Transfer of Technology (ToT) for Netherlands’ Walrus replacement program at the NIDV's Defence & Security exhibition in Rotterdam city, Netherlands, on Thursday.
The Dutch government announced its intent to buy four submarines to replace Walrus-class ships last year. The contract is estimated to be worth around $3 billion. According to reports, a firm order could be signed in 2022, with deliveries expected to begin in 2027.
Currently, Naval Group-Dutch Royal IHC, German ThyssenKrupp, Spanish Navantia, and Swedish Saab-Dutch shipyards are in the race to net the multi-million dollar contract.
“The project will generate a workload of 15 million man/hours and is expected to create over 2000 jobs in the Netherlands. In view of the Walrus capability replacement programme, Naval Group demonstrates their will to commit to a full submarine IP and knowledge-sharing with the Dutch knowledge centers and industry,” Naval Group said in a statement.
The defense contractor is currently building the Barracuda for the French Navy.
With all the complexities and long lead-time involved in a submarine project, it is crucial to determine how strategic knowledge and expertise is shared, used and maintained over a period which exceeds thirty years, the company said.
At NEDS, Naval Group released its plan for the future submarine design and production ecosystem which includes organising “transfer of IP rights and design authority to the Netherlands.”
This, according to the company, “will deliver to local industry and knowledge centers an in-depth understanding and mastering of the selected design.”
Naval Group has qualified 30 new companies to be Tier 1 and 2 suppliers for this programme and other international programmes.
In February 2019, the company announced it teamed up with Dutch shipyard Royal IHC, specialized in off-shore construction, to increase its chances of being among the two manufacturers chosen by the Netherlands.
Naval Group has now unveiled its partnership with Contour. “Their expertise will allow modern simulation tools to be deployed to ease the crew’s training period before the actual submarine is sent on trials,” the company said.
“Naval Group deliberately involves local partners in its international activities. The purpose of these agreements is to pool a Dutch submarine community for the Netherlands would Naval Group be selected for the Walrus replacement program. Key to a successful cooperation is a know-why methodology and a true IP and know-how repository to build-up and contribute that unique expertise, which will support in the long-term both the Netherlands’ but also international submarine programmes” declared Mark van Rooij, Naval Group Netherlands CEO.