#NavyVisits - HNLMS Walrus which is one of the world's most sophisticated submarines arrived in Cork City yesterday for a courtesy visit this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The non-nuclear powered submarine is the leadship of the 'Walrus' class which was commissioned in 1992 for the Royal Netherlands Navy. In total there are four of the class and they are the only submarines of the Dutch Navy but play a pivotal role in operations.
HNLMS Walrus entered Cork Harbour in the afternoon. From within the expanse of the lower harbour, the 68m submarine navigated further upriver through Lough Mahon before making the final leg to the city's central quays.
According to the Dutch Embassy the visit to Cork is for the purpose of crew rest. Embarkation of the 50 submariners is from J.J. Horgan's Wharf on the north bank of the River Lee.
On this occasion, the Dutch Navy will not be on training exercises as previously conducted by a pait of fleetmates, albeit surface ships that visited Dublin last month. This involved a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warfare ship and a frigate that took part in exercises off the east coast with the Irish Naval Service OPV L.É. William Butler Yeats.
The diesel-electric powered HNLMS Walrus has 4 torpedo tubes incorporated within the stealth designed submarine. Such technology is to make it more difficult to be detected by ships, aircraft or other submarines when deep under the ocean waves.
At 2,650 tonnes displacement (when submerged) HNLMS Walrus can remain under the water surface for long periods to enable missions. On overseas deployments, this can include patrolls in the Caribbean Sea with calls to Williamstad, the capital of Netherlands Antilles.
On this side of the Atlantic, the berth allocated in Cork for the submarine's visit as alluded above is where a sister HNLMS Dolfijn paid a call in 2016. That submarine did take part in exercises witht the Naval Service.
HNLMS Walrus will remain in port until Monday morning.