Saab proposes its Expeditionary Submarines for the Dutch Navy

Balanced Sweden/ Netherlands co-operation to replace Walrus class submarines

28 July 2023
Saab Expeditionary Submarine 



Saab proposes to replace the Netherland’s current Walrus class submarines with four of its advanced Expeditionary Submarines. Its proposal also includes cooperation with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group.

Saab says its offer is based on a successful, proven and future-proof design incorporating the latest capabilities and technologies, whilst its truly modular design will allow for new technologies as they evolve to ensure relevance for many years to come.

The Swedish company and Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group have cooperated since 2015 and Saab said the offer to build submarines to replace the Dutch Walrus-class was a balanced cooperation between the Netherlands and Sweden.

Once delivered, the submarines will be fully maintainable by the Royal Netherlands Navy including upgrades throughout their lifespans. “The outstanding capabilities of the Expeditionary Submarine C718 exceeds the Dutch needs and requirements long-term,” says Mats Wicksell, senior vice president and head of Saab’s business area Kockums.

“Our offer constitutes a substantial contribution to the operational capability of the Dutch Defence Forces. Cooperation with local industry throughout the programme secures strategic autonomy for the Netherlands. These are Dutch submarines for the Royal Netherlands Navy.”

Saab says the C718 is an advanced Expeditionary Submarine that offers an unsurpassed level of endurance and exceeds the Royal Netherlands Navy's needs for long-distance operations, sufficient accommodation, crew comfort and increased weapon payload capability. 

The proposal includes an integrated weapon launching system and sensor systems as well as signature solutions to minimise detection by active sonars. 

Four nations — Sweden, Australia, Japan and Singapore — currently operate submarines and submarine technology designed by Saab’s business area Kockums.