The Dutch Ministry of Defense issued a B-Letter for the nearly $3 billion Walrus-class submarine replacement program and has shortlisted French Naval Group, Swedish Saab, German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), beating out Spanish Navantia.
Netherlands announced its intent to buy four submarines to replace old boats, last year. According to reports, a firm order could be signed in 2022, with deliveries expected to begin in 2027. The country wants the delivery of all four submarines to be completed by 2031.
Dutch requirements, award criteria and weighting factors will be determined in the “knock-out” C-Letter phase. It will be based on financial aspects, factors such as risk management and the elaboration of national security interests and strategic autonomy which will drive the capability requirements of the future submarines.
One of Netherlands’ demands is the inclusion of local defense firms in design, manufacture and maintenance of the new submarines. To achieve this, Naval Group, Saab and TKMS have teamed up with Royal IHC, Damen, and maintenance site of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Den Helder naval base, respectively.
“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,” said Dutch State Secretary Visser.
The final contract award, D-Letter, is expected sometime around 2022.