Interview with Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard, Director of the Dutch Defense Materiel Organization (DMO) on three major naval program for the Royal Netherlands Navy: Walrus class submarine replacement program, Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (ASWF) and rMCM.
The interview was recorded during NEDS 2022 on 17 November 2022. (NEDS stands for “NIDV Exhibition Defence & Security” – NIDV stands for “Netherlands Industries for Defence and Security”).
VADM de Waard discussed the following topics:
00:55 – The roles of DMO
01:39 – Status of the Walrus-class submarine replacement program
04:04 – What new capabilities for the future submarines
06:13 – When will the submarines be operational
07:03 – Status of the ASWF program
07:50 – rMCM program
10:59 – Impact of the war in Ukraine on Dutch programs
Dutch Naval Programs
The Dutch “Walrus-class submarine replacement program” reached a new milestone in November 2022: The Ministry of Defense (MoD) of the Netherlands submitted the request for quotation (RFQ) for 4 new submarines from 3 candidate shipyards. The candidate yards are Naval Group , Saab Kockums and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems . They are expected to submit their bids around the summer of 2023. The winner will be announced before the end of 2023. Two future submarines are expected to be operational by 2035 in order to replace the last two in-service Walrus-class submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
ASWF – Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate
The ASWF Future Surface Combatant is a project of the Royal Netherlands Navy and Belgian Navy to replace the ageing Multipurpose- or M-frigates (Karel Doorman-class). The future frigates will be replacing HNLMS Van Amstel and HNLMS Van Speijk in the Dutch Navy and Leopold I and the Louise-Marie in the Belgian Navy. They will be designed and built by Damen.
The Dutch MoD started design studies for the M-frigates replacement in 2013. The new frigates are set to fulfill a general purpose role with ASW as its specialty. However, given the limited number of frigates in the Royal Netherlands Navy (six) and Belgian (two) fleets, the Future Surface Combatant are required to excel in all area (air defense, anti surface warfare…). While the Belgian Navy is in charge of the MCM replacement program for both navies, likewise the Dutch Navy is in charge of the M-Frigates replacement program for both the Netherlands and Belgium
This program was awarded in 2019 to Belgium Naval & Robotics, the consortium formed by Naval Group and ECA Group, following an international competition. It provides for the supply to the Belgian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy of twelve mine countermeasures platforms and around a hundred drones integrated inside a toolbox that will equip the vessels.
The keel of the first mine countermeasure mothership for the Royal Netherlands Navy, HNLMS Vlissingen, was laid in June 2022. France announced during Euronaval 2022 that they will be joining the program and adopt a similar mothership design to Belgium and the Netherlands.