Defence explains award process for new submarines

In order to acquire 4 new submarines, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked 3 candidate shipyards to submit tenders. The candidate yards are Naval Group, Saab Kockums and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. They are required to submit their tenders by 28 July 2023 at the latest. Netherlands State Secretary for Defence Christophe van der Maat today sent a letter to the House of Representatives in which he explained the process that is in place for the provisional award decision.

Enlarge image Zr.Ms. Dolfijn.
Zr.Ms. Dolfijn.

Submarines are among the most effective weapon platforms of the armed forces. It is therefore important for the MoD to carefully assess whether what the shipyards are offering is in keeping with what the navy of the future needs. The set of requirements drawn up by the MoD constitutes the foundation for this assessment.

Enlarge image Zr.Ms. Bruinvis.
Zr.Ms. Bruinvis.

Because tenders contain a tremendous amount of detailed technical and commercial information, assessing them is always a major undertaking. In this case, the assessment process is expected to last until the end of January 2024, after which the provisional award decision will be drawn up. Following parliamentary debate and finalisation of the decision, the contract with the winning yard will be prepared for signing.

Enlarge image Zr.Ms. Walrus.
Zr.Ms. Walrus.

Reaching agreement on industrial cooperation with the winning yard will be a key element. Industrial Cooperation Agreements (ICAs) are instruments that the Dutch government uses to strengthen the Netherlands Defence Technological and Industrial Base (NLDTIB). The winning yard will be expected to contribute to this base. The NLDTIB consists of almost 1,000 companies that provide added value in European and transatlantic terms. Examples in this regard include radar technology, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, sensor technology and the construction of surface ships.

After the 28 July deadline, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy will evaluate the ICA proposals received from the yards. The ICA evaluation will be separate from the MoD’s tender assessment.

Enlarge image Zr.Ms. Zeeleeuw.
Zr.Ms. Zeeleeuw.

Provisional award decision

The outcome of the tender assessment will be an overall assessment with a ranking and a provisional winner. The ICA proposal of the provisional winner as verified by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy will be added to the overall assessment. The provisional award decision will be presented to the House of Representatives after it has been discussed by the submarine replacement ministerial committee and the cabinet.