Swedish defence and security company Saab is teaming with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group to explore future opportunities in the international submarine market. The companies have signed an exclusive teaming agreement to work together in pursuit of the potential Walrus-class submarine replacement programme for the Netherlands. In addition to this project, Saab and Damen will also explore ways in which they might bid jointly on other submarine procurement programmes.
Through the acquisition of Kockums Saab has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of submarines and surface vessels for a global customer base, integrating advanced systems and using a range of ultra-modern materials and construction techniques. Key technology includes Saab’s unique Air Independent Propulsion System based on the Stirling engine. In addition, Saab delivers many complex defence programmes in cooperation with governmental and commercial partners in customer nations worldwide.
Damen delivers about 160 vessels annually and is known for its unique ship-design concepts, due to its sharp focus on research and development, standardisation and modularisation. Its defence 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.
Saab and Damen, both independently-owned companies, are confident that their combined skills, expertise and substantial R&D capacity will accelerate submarine development.
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 programmes worldwide.”
Gunilla Fransson, head of Saab business area, Security and Defence 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.”