JANUARY 20, 2015 — Saab AB is teaming with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group to explore future opportunities in the international submarine market. The two companies have signed an exclusive teaming agreement to pursue the potential Walrus-class submarine replacement program for the Netherlands. They will also explore ways in which they might bid jointly on other submarine procurement programs.
Last November, Netherlands news agency NOS reported Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis as expressing the intent to replace the four 1990s-built Walrus-class submarines operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy by 2025.
Saab delivers many complex defense programs in cooperation with governmental and commercial partners in customer nations worldwide. Last year's acquisition of Kockums gives Saab extensive experience in the design and manufacture of submarines and surface vessels for a global customer base. Key technology includes the Kockums Air Independent Propulsion System based on the Stirling engine.
Damen delivers about 160 vessels annually and is known for its unique ship-design concepts and focus on research and development, standardization and modularization. Its defense and security portfolio includes vessels ranging in size from 7 m to over 200 m.
Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (established in 1875) supplies major surface vessels to navies worldwide.
Hein van Ameijden, managing director of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, says: "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 programs worldwide."
Gunilla Fransson, head of Saab business area, Security and Defense Solutions says: "Saab Kockums is looking forward to cooperating with the experienced shipbuilders at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. We have the full support of our Swedish customer in broadening our customer base to include a new demanding high-end customer."