On 13 May the Defense Materiel Organisation (DMO) of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Imtech Marine Netherlands to begin a life-extension programme for the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN)'s four Walrus-class diesel-electric submarines.
Imtech Marine Netherlands is the lead contractor for the 'Instandhoudiingsprogramma Walrus-klasse', or IP-W, programme: a project reported to be worth EUR94 million (USD120.3 million). HNLMS Zeeleeuw (S-803), which is being stripped down at the naval shipyard in Den Helder, will be the first boat of the class to undergo refit and upgrade under the IP-W programme. HNLMS Walrus (S-802) will be the last. Zeeleeuw is expected to return to operational service in 2015, with Walrus due to complete the process in 2019. The other two ships in the class are HNLMS Dolfijn (S-808) and HNLMS Bruinvis (S-810).
The IP-W process consists of a number of elements. The boats will receive a bespoke Kollmorgen Model 86 non-hull-penetrating optronic mast system, with television/thermal cameras and processing features such as electronic zoom.
As opposed to the Model 86 in use with the US Navy's Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines, which uses separate consoles, imagery for the Walrus-class will be projected onto multifunctional display screens.