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SAAB teams up with Damen Shipyards to develop, market submarines

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The Walrus-class submarines of Netherlands.

STOCKHOLM (BNS): Sweden's SAAB has partnered with Netherlands' Damen Shipyards to explore future opportunities in the international submarine market.

The two companies will also work together in pursuit of the potential Walrus-class submarine replacement programme for the Netherlands.

While SAAB has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of submarines and surface vessels for a global customer base, Damen delivers about 160 naval vessels annually and is known for its unique ship-design concepts, sharp focus on research and development, standardisation and modularisation.

Both the independently-owned companies are confident that their combined skills, expertise and substantial R&D capacity will accelerate submarine development.

"We are convinced that with Saab we have found the ideal partner to realise a successor to the present Walrus class; a vessel that will set a new standard for non-nuclear submarines. The complementarity of both our companies opens up the potential for a successful cooperation in more submarine programmes worldwide," Hein van Ameijden, managing director of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding said.

SAAB had inked a deal in June 2014 to acquire the Swedish shipyard ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, formerly known as Kockums, to further expand and reinvigorate its naval shipbuilding capability. The newly acquired entity was named Saab Kockums.

"Saab Kockums is looking forward to cooperating with the experienced shipbuilders at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. We have the full support of our Swedish customer in broadening our customer base to include a new demanding high-end customer," said Gunilla Fransson, head of SAAB business area Security and Defence Solutions.

Netherlands operates four Walrus-class submarines which were commissioned into service in early 1990s. The Dutch Government announced last year to replace the vessels with new-generation submarines by 2025.

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