Saab has signed a collaboration deal with Damen Shipyards to bid for the Netherlands' Walrus-class submarine replacement programme.
In addition to exploring future opportunities in the international submarine market, the companies will explore how to collaborate on other submarine procurement programmes.
Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding managing director Hein van Ameijden said: "We are convinced that with Saab we have found the ideal partner to realise a successor to the present Walrus class; a vessel that will set a new standard for non-nuclear submarines.
"The complementarity of both our companies opens up the potential for a successful cooperation in more submarine programmes worldwide."
Saab and Damen, both independently owned companies, will use their combined skills, expertise and substantial R&D capacity to accelerate submarine development.
The 222ft-long Walrus-class attack submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy have a submerged speed of 20k and a range of approximately 11,500 miles when travelling at 9k.
The acquisition of Kockums has provided Saab with experience in the design and build of submarines and surface vessels for worldwide customers, integrating advanced systems and the latest materials and construction techniques.
With a capacity to deliver approximately 160 vessels a year, Damen's defence and security portfolio includes vessels ranging in size from 7m to more than 200m.
Saab Security and Defence Solutions business area head Gunilla Fransson said: "We have the full support of our Swedish customer in broadening our customer base to include a new demanding, high-end customer."
Image: The 222ft-long Walrus-class attack submarines have a submerged speed of 20k. Photo: courtesy of MCD.