EURONAVAL Paris: Saab (Kockums) and Damen Group reaffirmed their united ambition to be successful in bidding for the replacement for the Royal Netherlands Navy Walrus Class submarine.

The design will be a larger derivative of the Kockums A26-class submarine currently under construction for the Swedish Navy.

Hein van Ameijden, managing director, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, commented that Saab Kockums offered “Swedish engineering superior to anything else on the market [in terms of submarines]”, while Gunnar Wieslander, senior vice president and head of business area Kockums praised Damen’s supply chains and stated that the cooperation was both long-term and worldwide.

Hein van Ameijden, managing director, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding with Gunnar Wieslander, senior vice president, head of business area Kockums, speaking during the first day of Euronaval.

The Saab/Damen replacement offering for the Walrus class, called the Expeditionary submarine, will be larger than the A26 and according to Wieslander, “will go as far and do more than the Walrus.

“Its very important to have a submarine that is easy to manage,” said Wieslander, adding that “the planned modularity of the boat will lend itself to quick conversation for different missions.” He further underlined the importance of upgradability through insertion, as the company has already done on the Gotland class.

Last week, His Swedish Majesty Ship (HSwMS) Gotland began sea trials from Saab’s shipyard in Karlskrona, having completed a mid-life upgrade (MLU). Improvements to the submarine include the incorporation of the Stirling Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) and a new optronic mast to replace the traditional telescope. Over 20 new systems on the Gotland will be shared across to the A26. “This reduces the need for extra training and reduces risks concluded Wieslander.

Saab is also looking to compete the A26 in the Polish Navy competition to replace the outdated Kobben-class vessels. Other contenders include the French Naval Group Scorpene-class submarine and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems 212CD-class.

by Andrew Drwiega