Walrus-class submarine

Since 1990

  • 2450 tonnes ( surfaced )
  • 2800 tonnes ( submerged )

67.73 m

8.4 m

6.6 m

Diesel- electric, a 5 -blade screw

10,000 nautical miles at 9 knots

4 × 21 -inch torpedo tube ( 20 Mk 48 or UGM -84)

The Walrus - class is a class of four submarines of the Dutch Navy.


The story of the Walrus class goes back to the 1970s, when the Dutch Ministry of Defence wrote out two new submarines to replace the two U- boats still coming from the 1950s Dolfijn class. The construction contract for the two boats was finally completed in 1979. In 1985, the Dutch Ministry of Defence placed an order for two more submarines of this class in order to replace the two dating from the 1960s boats Potvis class can.

The commissioning of the type of boat Walrus was delayed again and again, especially since 1986 in a fire on the boat the entire pre-installed electronics were destroyed. Therefore, the Zeeleeuw was made in 1990 as the first boot of the class in service, the Walrus followed in 1992. The last two boats were 1993 and 1994, the Dolfijn Bruinvis.

Because after the end of the Cold War, the two boats Zwaardvis class were retired without replacement, the Walrus class boats currently the only active submarines of the Dutch Navy.

In the 1990s, there should have been discussions about an export of Walrus submarines with Taiwan. However, to date neither the talks officially confirmed yet submarines of this class were exported to Taiwan.


The submarines of the Walrus class are largely based on their predecessors of Zwaardvis class. With a length of 67.7 m, they are only slightly longer, while the width of 8.4 m is exactly the same. The displacement has appeared minimal at 2450 t and 2800 t increases submerged. For the hull much higher quality steel was used as with the predecessors of what the maximum depth increased by almost 50% to about 300 m. Through improvements to the electronics, the crew of 65 was reduced to 52 men. The number of 21-inch torpedo tubes was reduced to 4 compared to the predecessor of 6, but it will continue to be carried 20 torpedoes. As a novelty in the Dutch navy, the Walrus - class Sub - Harpoon missile capability.

Currently planned, from about 2009 to modernize all four boats to make them even be able to keep in use so until around 2030. This is possibly an AIP be upgraded, which would increase the efficiency of the boat considerably.


In the fall of 2010, the Zeeleeuw for about two months as part of NATO 's Operation Ocean Shield was used in the Horn of Africa in the fight against piracy. The ended 5 November 2010 using the Zeeleeuw should especially help so-called Pirate Action Groups (PAG ) already detect when leaving the Somali coast and to render them harmless.

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