Until last year, things were looking good for German submarine builder Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS). The deal for the manufacturing of four Dutch submarines was as good as done. Kiel was asked to just be patient. But due to changed policy in the Netherlands and new power relations in Germany, the multi-billion euro order seems to be over.
The Netherlands may want to start building submarines again. But examples abroad show this can also fail, says editor Olof van Joolen.
The race for who is allowed to build the successor to the Walrus submarines is entering its decisive phase. Shipbuilders only have weeks left before the Ministry of Defense determines who will move on to the next and decisive round. Both winning the order as well as designating the winner is an extremely complicated job.
Dutch shipbuilding is no longer as large as back in the days. But Damen Shipyards still builds vessels in its own land. Is there a secret of this company?
Daily newspaper Trouw reports about the new NAVO plan of the cabinet. The cabinet plans to purchase about fifteen extra F-35 fighter planes. The tank is also coming back. Minister Ank Bijleveld writes that in a letter that The Netherlands sends to NATO. She writes that the Cabinet intends is going to invest extra in Defense next year. How much extra money will go to the armed forces will become clear no later than June, with the Spring Memorandum.
Financial Daily, 12.12.2018
In the new Defense strategy of the ministry of Defense it is stated that new material for the Dutch military should, as far is possible, be manufactured by Dutch companies. Key message of the strategy is that the Cabinet wants to strengthen the Dutch industry. This article analyses where this Orange-optimism suddenly comes from and how the ministry wants to strengthen the defense industry. However, since the Netherlands is still (and just like other countries) obliged to adhere to European procurement regulations, The Dutch governement does not have many tools to really strengthen the Dutch Defense industry at all.
Algemeen Dagblad, 16.11.2018
The Dutch daily newspaper 'Algemeen Dagblad' publiced an article on the tender battle between the four manufacturers for the Dutch submarines. They sent veteran Johan Kragten to the convention in Rotterdam. On the pictures attached to the article Kragten is posing with a tkMS submarine model. On the tkMS submarines the following is written: Technological the best and most trusted partner, according to the Germans themselves at least. Since the 1960s the Germans have delivered 160 submarines. With every new generation the invisibility increases due to reducing the magnetic field around the submarine. They also use an unique system for the fuel cells with which the submarines can stay underwater for multiple weeks. Even so, when asked which of the manufacturers should get the order, veteran Kragten decided without doubt that Damen/Saab should win. Not only because the design looks very good, but also because it would mean a boost for the Dutch navy industry. And Kragten is a bit chauvinistic after all.
Elsevier Weekblad, 08.11.2018
Weekly magazine Elsevier Weekblad pays much attention to the upcoming replacement of the Dutch Navy submarines. In a six-page piece, the article describes the process with which the Dutch government will decide who will win the tender for the four submarines. What is interesting, is that the journalist (Eric Vrijssen) has written the article while on a vist to the wharf of the Naval Group in Cherbourg, France. The article pays attention to the four companies that want to win the tender. While Damen is full of confidence, it is tkMS that states that Damen has absolutely no knowledge about how to build a submarine. The others retaliate to tkMS by noting that the German submarines have a lot of faults, break down a lot and go on and on about the unrest in Kiel.