Dutch award navy submarine contract to French firm Naval

Dutch Walrus-class submarines in happier times. Photo: Depositphotos

As expected, the Netherland has awarded the €5.65 billion contract to build four new attack submarines to France’s Naval group.

The French shipbuilder has been asked to deliver the first two within 10 years once the contract has been signed, according to a defence ministry statement on Friday.

The contract also includes a “substantial” role for the Dutch maritime industry, which was a key requirement, junior defence minister Christophe van der Maat said on social media.

News of the deal leaked out earlier this week, leading to angry comments from some MPs who wanted the deal to go to a consortium which involves Damen shipyards.

Damen told news website Nu.nl in a reaction that the news it had missed out on the deal is very disappointing.

“By giving this most innovative of Dutch maritime projects to a French company, the foundations have been knocked out from under our complete and well-functioning Dutch maritime construction sector,” Nu.nl quoted the company as saying.

Earlier this month, the navy announced it was ordering four new air defence frigates from Damen in a deal worth at least €3.5 billion.

The four new subs will be named Orca, Zwaardvis (swordfish), Barracuda and Tijgerhaai (tiger shark), all of which are known as skillful hunters, Van der Maat said in a briefing to MPs.

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