Dutch submarine HNLMS Walrus concludes Portsmouth visit

HNLMS Walrus entering Portsmouth Feb. 16, for a weekend visit. The submarine returned to sea Feb. 19. 2018. Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Dutch Navy submarine HNLMS Walrus paid a weekend visit to Portsmouth, UK, becoming the first submarine in two years to visit the Royal Navy base.

Walrus is on the return leg of her operational sea training which she is undergoing after completing a dry-dock maintenance in 2017.

Prior to entering Portsmouth, Walrus made a port call in Cork, Ireland, early February.

The 62 crew have been training with HMS Argyll, HMS Montrose, RFA Tidespring, 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and HNoMS Helge Ingstad off the coast of Plymouth as part of their training with the Royal Navy’s flag officer sea training (FOST) organization.

Lt Cdr Jan-Willem Vroegop, the commanding officer of HNLMS Walrus, said: “We are here in Portsmouth for some rest and recreation. For the past three weeks we have been working with FOST.

“During those exercises we’ve been acting as a hostile submarine, so our main task was to search for the frigates and the main target, RFA Tidespring in order to test the boat and her crew.

“We work with the Royal Navy quite a lot, training with FOST; usually we go to Plymouth but sometimes we come to Portsmouth.”

The Walrus, which was commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1992, is equipped with four 21-inch torpedo tubes and 20 Honeywell torpedoes, with the boat specialising in stealth missions. The vessel is a diesel submarine, is 68 metres in length and can remain submerged for very long periods.

HMNLS Walrus spent the weekend in Portsmouth before resuming her training off the South Coast exercise areas. She is due to return home in March.

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