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Dutch Navy's 'X' Stern Submarine to Visit Cork City

4th November 2016
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"X" tail configuration at the stern of leadship submarine HNMLS Walrus. A sister HNMLS Bruinvis is this afternoon calling to Cork city quays for the weekend "X" tail configuration at the stern of leadship submarine HNMLS Walrus. A sister HNMLS Bruinvis is this afternoon calling to Cork city quays for the weekend Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#X-Submarine - A Dutch navy non-nuclear powered submarine built during the Cold War is this afternoon arriving to Cork City for a four-day visit, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HNLMS Bruinvis is a diesel electric powered submarine. The 68m submarine is equipped with almost 40 torpedoes and is the final ‘Walrus’ class of four built. Leadship HNLMS Walrus visited Dublin Port earlier this year. 

On this occasion, the visit of the Royal Netherlands Navy (NATO member) submarine takes place at Cork city centre’s JJ Horgan's Wharf on the north quays. The crew are to spend their on leave time in the southern city for the purposes of rest and recreation.

What makes these class unusual to other submarines is the "X" tail configuration design. This involves in mounting four combined rudders and diving planes to form the an "X" tail at the stern (see above photo).This differs to the conventional cross-shaped assembly of stern diving planes and rudders.

The contract for the submarine was given to Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (Rotterdam Dry Dock Co). Construction began in 1988, one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War in 1991. Three years later HNLMS Brunis was commissioned into service. 

 

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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