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The Dutch submarine Zeeleeuw, at SAIL Amsterdam 2005.
|Builders:||Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij|
|Operators:||Royal Netherlands Navy|
|Preceded by:||Zwaardvis class|
|Class and type:||none|
|Length:||67.73 m (222.2 ft)|
|Beam:||8.4 m (28 ft)|
|Draft:||6.6 m (22 ft)|
|Propulsion:||3 diesels, diesel-electric, 5,430 shp (4 MW), 1 shaft, 5 blades|
|Range:||18,500 km (10,000 nmi) at 9 kn (17 km/h)|
|Test depth:||>300 m (980 ft)|
|Complement:||50 to 55|
The Walrus-class submarines are unusual in that instead of a cross-shaped assembly of stern diving planes and rudders, they mount four combined rudders and diving planes in an "X" configuration. This tail configuration was first tested in 1960 on the United States Navy's USS Albacore, and has since been used by the Walrus class, all Swedish Navy submarines since the Sjöormen class, the Royal Australian Navy's Collins class, the German Type 212A and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Sōryū class.
After the Cold War, the subs have been tasked for many highly confidential intelligence gathering operations (still classified) in the Yugoslavian region, Iran, Iraq and the Caribbean often on request of Allies, including the United States.
In 2007, the Dutch cabinet approved an upgrade of the four operational vessels and recruitment of additional crew to improve overall operational availability. The upgrades were focused on near-shore operations and integration with new weapons,and include:
- the migration from the then current MK 48 mod-4 torpedo to the mod-7 version
- replacing one periscope with a non-hull-penetrating optronic mast from L-3 KEO which enables the submarine to capture HD footage both day and night
- addition of a Mine & Obstacle Avoidance Sonar by ELAC Nautik
- refurbishing of the pressure hull
- introduction of a new combat management system
In November 2014 the Dutch Minister of Defence announced plans to replace the Walrus-class submarines in 2025. By 2017, there is still no political agreement on the amount of new submarines to be ordered; nor the type and tasks it should be able to perform. However, it seems certain that they will be replaced, since the renewed Russian threat was regarded an incentive to invest in a new class. The Minister of Defence however delayed the replacement with two years until 2027. Roughly, there are two groups in the Dutch parliament; one in favor of replacing the Walrus-class by an equally capable class of large, expeditionary, diesel-electric sub and the other in favor of choosing a cheaper solution of smaller diesel-electrics, more to the likes of Swedish and German submarines. It is yet unknown where the new boats will most likely be built; since the Dutch RDM yard (the only Dutch yard capable of building subs) that constructed the Walrus-class closed its doors years ago.
Ships in class
All boats were built by the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij.
|Walrus||11 October 1979||28 October 1985
13 September 1989 (re-launched)
|25 March 1992||In service|
|Zeeleeuw||24 September 1981||20 June 1987||25 April 1990||In service|
|Dolfijn||12 June 1986||25 April 1990||29 January 1993||In service|
|Bruinvis||14 April 1988||25 April/May 1992||5 July 1994||In service|
- Displacement: 2,350 t surfaced, 2,650 t submerged, 1,900 t standard
- Dimensions: 67.73 x 8.4 x 6.6 m
- Propulsion: 3 SEMT Pielstick 12PA4V200SM diesels, 1 Holec mainmotor, 1 shaft, 6 blades
- Speed: 13 knots surfaced, 20 knots submerged
- Complement: 50 to 55
- Surface Search Radar: DECCA 1229
- Sonar Systems: Thomson Sintra TSM 2272 Eledone Octopus, GEC Avionics Type 2026 towed array, Thomson Sintra DUUX 5B passive ranging and intercept
- Fire Control: HSA SEWACO VIII action data automation, GTHW integrated Harpoon and torpedo FCS
- Armament: 4 x 21 inch (533mm) torpedo tubes (20 Honeywell Mk 48 or Honeywell NT 37 torpedoes, mines, SubHarpoon SSM)
HNLMS Dolfijn and escort approaching Portsmouth Naval Base, UK, 19 Nov 2009 in poor weather.
HNLMS Dolfijn departing Portsmouth Naval Base, UK, 1 Feb 2010.
HNLMS Dolfijn heading to sea from Portsmouth Naval Base, UK, 1 Feb 2010.
- "Russia ships 'chase away' Dutch submarine in Mediterranean". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Tomkins, Richard (22 January 2015). "Swedes, Dutch partner for future submarine work". UPI.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
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