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Netherlands selects Naval Group for new Barracuda-class submarines to replace Walrus Fleet.

According to information published Defense Secretary Christophe van der Maat on June 11, 2024, the Dutch House of Representatives has expressed support for the government's submarine procurement decision. This marks the conclusion of a lengthy parliamentary process.
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Artist rendering of the future Dutch submarine. (Picture source: Christophe van der Maat)

The Netherlands has recently chosen the French company Naval Group to build its new class of submarines as part of the Walrus-class replacement program. This decision was announced by the Dutch State Secretary for Defence, Christophe van der Maat, at Den Helder Naval Base on March 15, 2024. The selected design is based on the Barracuda family of expeditionary submarines, specifically the Blacksword Barracuda diesel-electric variant.

The new submarines, named HNLMS Orka, HNLMS Zwaardvis, HNLMS Barracuda, and HNLMS Tijgerhaai, will replace the aging Walrus-class boats. They are expected to be delivered starting in the mid-2030s, with the first two submarines due within ten years of signing the delivery contract​​.

These submarines will feature advanced technology and enhanced capabilities, including the ability to launch cruise missiles, improved sensors, and modern communication systems. These features will significantly increase their striking power and intelligence-gathering capabilities. The new submarines will also benefit from modern battery technology, allowing them to remain submerged for longer periods without detection​​.

Dutch industry involvement was a crucial criterion in the selection process. The collaboration with Dutch shipyard Koninklijke IHC and other local companies will ensure substantial participation in the construction and maintenance of the submarines. This partnership aims to enhance the Dutch technological and industrial base, contributing to the country's strategic autonomy and knowledge development​.

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