Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine HNLMS Walrus Arrives at Port de Cherbourg, France

The Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNLN) diesel-electric attack submarine HNLMS Walrus (S802) has arrived at Port de Cherbourg, France for a scheduled port visit.

HNLMS Walrus (S802)

HNLMS Walrus (S802) is the lead ship of the Walrus-class of conventionally powered (diesel-electric) attack submarines (SSK) in operation with the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN).

After a long delay following a serious fire during construction, the submarine entered service in 1992. Walrus has been deployed both for naval exercises and in combat operations around the world. The submarine is currently (December 2015) in active service.

HNMLS Walrus was laid down on 11 October 1979 at the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (“Rotterdam Dry Dock Company”) yard in Rotterdam. She was launched on 28 October 1985, but on 14 August 1986 an electrical fire broke out on board causing damage costing ƒ225 million(€100 million) to repair. Her completion was delayed until 13 September 1989. Sea trials were carried out in 1990 and 1991, and the submarine was finally commissioned on 25 March 1992.

Walrus-class SSK

Walrus-class the only submarine class currently in operation with RNLN.

They have been in service since 1990 and are all named after sea mammals. The submarines of the class are HNLMS Walrus (S802) – 1985, HNLMS Zeeleeuw (S803) – 1987, HNLMS Dolfijn (S808) – 1990, and HNLMS Bruinvis (S810) -1992.

The Walrus-class submarines are unusual in that instead of a cross-shaped assembly of stern diving planes and rudders, they mount four combined rudders and diving planes in an “X” configuration. This tail configuration was first tested in 1960 on the United States Navy’s USS Albacore, and has since been used by the Walrus class, all Swedish Navy submarines since the Sjöormen class, the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins class, the German Type 212A and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Sōryū class.

The submarines are armed with four 21in Honeywell Mk 48 Mod 4 and Mk 48 ADCAP. The ships can carry 40 mines in lieu of torpedoes. They can also be equipped with McDonnell Douglas Sub-Harpoon surface-to-surface missile (SSM). The Dutch government, however, has not purchased any SSMs for the submarines.

After the Cold War, the subs have been tasked for many highly confidential intelligence gathering operations (still classified) in the Yugoslavian region, Iran, Iraq and the Caribbean often on request of Allies, including the United States.

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