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Walrus class

Patrol submarine

Walrus class submarine

The Walrus class patrol submarines replaced Dolfijn and Potvis classes

Entered service 1986
Crew 52 men
Diving depth (operational) 450 m
Diving depth (maximum) 620 m
Dimensions and displacement
Length 67.7 m
Beam 8.4 m
Draught 6.6 m
Surfaced displacement 2 390 tons
Submerged displacement 2 740 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 13 knots
Submerged speed 20 knots
Diesel engines 3 x 6 300 hp
Electric motors 1 x 6 910 hp
Missiles Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles
Torpedoes 4 x 533-mm bow tubes for 20 Mk 48 dual-role torpedoes
Other up to 40 influence ground mines in place of missiles and torpedoes


   Based on the US Navy's teardrop-hulled Barbel class of conventional submarine, the Dutch Zwaardvis and Tijgerhaai of the Zwaardvis class were ordered in the mid-1960s. Because of the requirement to use indigenous Dutch equipment wherever possible, the design was modified to include the placement of all noise-producing machinery on a false deck with spring suspension for silent running. The two boats entered service with the Dutch navy in 1972 and were decommissioned in 1994-95. A buyer is still sought for the boats.

   At the same time the need began to arise to start the design of a new class to replace the boats of the elderly Dolfijn and Potvis classes. The new design evolved as the Walrus class, which was based on the basic hull form of the Zwaardvis with similar dimensions and silhouette but with more automation allowing a significant reduction in the number of crew needed, more modern electronics, X-layout control surfaces and fabrication in the French MAREI high-tensile steel allowing a 50 percent increase in the maximum diving depth.

   The first unit, the Walrus, was laid down in 1979 in Rotterdam (where all the boats were built) for commissioning in 1986 and the Zeeleeuw a year later for service entry in 1987. A further two, the Dolfijn and Bruinvis, were laid down in 1986 and 1988 for commissioning in 1993 and 1994.

   In 1987-88 Taiwan received two Improved Zwaardvis or Hai Lung-class units Hai Lung and Hai Hu. These are planned to carry Hsiung Feng II SSMs.


Walrus class submarine

Walrus class submarine

Walrus class submarine

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