With the support of Sweden and the United Kingdom, Saab has presented a proposal to the Netherlands to replace their existing submarines.

The offer includes four Expeditionary Submarines featuring technologies and a partnership with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group. The proposed solution promises long-term relevance, operational superiority, and cooperation with local industries, strengthening the Royal Netherlands Navy’s capabilities for years.

The Royal Netherlands Navy is looking for an upgrade to its current submarine fleet. The Netherlands is in the process of replacing its four Walrus-class submarines and is currently deciding which company will obtain the contract, according to GlobalData’s “Netherlands Defense Market 2023-2028” report. 

Saab‘s proposal’s cornerstone lies in delivering four advanced Expeditionary Submarines, incorporating the latest innovations and technologies to meet the Royal Netherlands Navy’s needs for long-distance operations, crew comfort, accommodation, and enhanced weapon payload capability.

The proposed C718 Expeditionary Submarine promises endurance, ensuring the Royal Netherlands Navy can undertake extended missions.

An aspect of Saab’s offer is the collaboration with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group, further enhancing the partnership between the Netherlands and Sweden. Since 2015, Saab and Damen have worked together to create a balanced cooperation that will result in submarines that are explicitly tailored for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

This partnership ensures autonomy for the Netherlands and emphasises the local industry’s involvement in the submarine replacement program.

Mats Wicksell, Senior Vice President and head of Saab’s business area Kockums expressed confidence in the offered C718 Expeditionary Submarine. “The outstanding capabilities of the Expeditionary Submarine C718 meet and exceeds the Dutch needs and requirements long-term.

Our offer constitutes a substantial contribution to the operational capability of the Dutch Defence Forces. Cooperation with local industry throughout the programme secures strategic autonomy for the Netherlands. These are Dutch submarines for the Royal Netherlands Navy.”

Saab’s proposed design boasts several features that elevate the submarines. The signature solutions implemented in the design help minimise detection by active sonars, making the submarines capable and virtually undetectable. Additionally, the proposal includes a proven and integrated weapon-launching system.

Saab’s offer includes knowledge transfer to the Netherlands. Once the submarines are delivered, the Royal Netherlands Navy will have complete ownership of maintaining and upgrading the vessels throughout their operational lifespan. This transfer of expertise ensures long-term sustainability and self-reliance for the Dutch Defence Forces.

Saab’s business area Kockums has provided submarine technology to four nations: SwedenAustralia, Japan, and Singapore. Their submarine designs in multiple navies worldwide testify to Saab’s commitment to reliability.