Extended missions below the surface
Oceanic Extended (XR) range submarines enable long-distance operations, suitable for any navy using forward deployment of their submarines on extended missions.
Saab and Damen offer to build submarines to replace the Dutch Walrus class, in balanced cooperation between the Netherlands and Sweden. This is what the project would look like – and how it would benefit the naval industry of the Netherlands.
The Expeditionary Submarine builds on the capabilities of the Swedish Blekinge-class (A26) submarines combined with Dutch Submarine technology and puts into practice the experience of the Dutch designed Walrus submarine class and of the Swedish designed Collins-class submarine in-service with the Australian Navy.
The result of the collaboration will be a customer-adapted submarine for expeditionary missions. This will ensure that the Royal Netherlands Navy continues to play an important role in European waters as well as globally.
In addition, the Walrus replacement will also benefit from the operational lessons reflected in the Swedish Navy’s Gotland Mid Life Upgrade. As a result the Expeditionary Submarine will be equipped with state of the art technology whilst benefiting from de-risking on four submarine classes. Saab and Damen are thereby creating one of the most modern submarines in the world, which if selected by the Royal Netherlands navy, will be done in consultation with the customer using a ‘design to cost’ approach.
Submarine capabilities meeting international demands
Having secured the cooperation of many Dutch companies, Saab and Damen are set to enhance the domestic submarine competence. This cooperation will also extend beyond the Dutch submarine project, as the two companies see a growing market for this type of advanced conventional submarines.
Both Saab and Damen are based in relatively small countries, which means that both companies must naturally be extremely good at collaboration to be able to operate successfully on an international level; it almost seems to be embedded in the DNA of both organisations. This in combination with a similar design philosophy based on cost-efficient quality and adaptive modularity means that Saab-Kockums is a perfect partner within the Dutch triple helix.
The Collins-class submarines
The Oceanic Extended range segment can be exemplified by the Collins-class submarine. Between 1993 and 2001, six Collins-class submarines were designed, constructed and delivered to the Australian Navy.
A long-range, multi-mission patrol submarine was required for short- and long-duration operations. Saab’s business area Kockums worked alongside the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), providing technology transfer for design and construction using an advanced modular method. At the time, this was the largest single export deal from Sweden in history.
77.8 metres (255 ft) in length, with a beam of 7.8 metres (26 ft) and a waterline depth of 7 metres (23 ft), the six boats were the largest conventionally powered submarines in the world at the time of their commissioning. The submarines are single-hulled with two deck compartments.