Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Dutch 'X' Tailed Submarine And Support Ship On Visit to Dublin Port

1st May 2019
3841 Views
The distinctive "X" tail stern configuration of Dutch submarine HNLMS Walrus with wash generated when swinging off Ocean Pier in Alexandra Basin in Dublin Port. At this same pier is where currently a sister, HNLMS Zeeleeuw is docked alongside support ship HNLMS Mercuur. The distinctive "X" tail stern configuration of Dutch submarine HNLMS Walrus with wash generated when swinging off Ocean Pier in Alexandra Basin in Dublin Port. At this same pier is where currently a sister, HNLMS Zeeleeuw is docked alongside support ship HNLMS Mercuur. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#navalvisitors - One of the world's most sophisticated submarines and an accompanying support ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy arrived in Dublin Port yesterday for a three day crew rest and recreation visit, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This is not the first Dutch Navy visitor to the capital this year as HNLMS Van Speijk, a Karel Doorman-class frigate was part of a three EU member state flotilla that called last month.

On this current visit, the first to arrive in Dublin Bay was submarine HNLMS Zeeleeuw, which has a 2,650 tonnes displacement (when submerged). In advance of entering the port a tug along with a small craft assisted the diesel-electric powered submarine while off the South Burford Bouy.

HNLMS Zeeleeuw was commissioned in 1990 however the submarine unintentionally became the first of the 'Walrus' class as HNLMS Walrus was delayed for a long period following a serious fire during construction. The 68m submarine was built by Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij.

The Walrus class instead of using a cross-shaped assembly of stern diving planes and rudders, they mount four combined rudders and diving planes in an "X" tail configuration (as more clearly demonstated in related story photo).

In total there are four submarines in the class and the quartet play a pivotal role in operations given these submarines have stealth designed technology. Deployments include overseas patrols in the Caribbean Sea with calls to Williamstad, the capital of the Netherlands Antilles.

The second visitor to Dublin is HNLMS Mercuur, which is the only surface vessel designed specifically to support the operations of the Dutch Navy. The 64m vessel was built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and entered service in 1987.

Both naval visitors are berthed downriver in the main part of the port having been allocated berths at Ocean Pier within Alexandra Basin. They will not be open to public tours.

The pair are scheduled to depart on Friday with an hour appart of each other exiting the port in the morning.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

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. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating