Royal Netherlands Navy

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The FACS and the MBT program that France and Germany are partnering on will be an important test as to how well France can partner. The same will be true for the Attack class sub program in Australia. All important projects that hopefully go well as the world geopolitical situation turns sour.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Fair comments, but the same issues and complaints have been repeatedly voiced about Navantia and BAE, or have often been voiced by politicians and organisations with agendas not closely aligned with the facts, then repeated by members of the forum. Perhaps we can say that things are not perfect - they never are - but "completely messed up" is a gross exageration at this point

oldsig
Complaints about BAE and Navantia are more about the companies than about their respective nations.
 

Toptob

Member
Fair comments, but the same issues and complaints have been repeatedly voiced about Navantia and BAE, or have often been voiced by politicians and organisations with agendas not closely aligned with the facts, then repeated by members of the forum. Perhaps we can say that things are not perfect - they never are - but "completely messed up" is a gross exageration at this point

oldsig
Well "completely messed up" may be an exaggeration but I don't think it's a gross one. NAVAL seems to have been making some pretty big booboo's over there. From what I've heard the Australian government is very unhappy about NAVAL's ability or willingness to communicate with their client. They seem to be getting squirly about worksharing and subcontracting, which is very important to the Australians. And it seems that the government isn't happy about their input they get into the design. From what I can get from open sources it seems to me that the Aussies are pretty disappointed about their collaboration with the French.

But regarding naval design and construction, our navy just has a very close relationship with our national industry. And that has served them very well, because a lot of the design for our ships comes directly from the Navy and the DMO (procurement agency). And they do that despite their partners being private companies. Unlike Navantia and NAVAL which are state owned companies our navy has little complains about their relationship with Damen.

@Toptob

I think you need to cite sources as opposed to "from what I have heard' noting your scathing assessment. The Damen reference should also be in context as vessels supplied by Damen are support vessels (civilian manned and certified). They have not provided fron line warships to the RAN. Rest assured all such projects have their hiccups and Damen is no different.

Many on DT have experiance with French supplied gear and support. However, an important difference is that ASC are building the Hunter Class and Australia will own the IP. Whether this works out will be something to watch.

However, from the posting context you must justify your stance. Since you claim this is from open sources you should reference them..... please amend as such.


In addition, any further discussion should be in the RAN thread.


Alexsa
 
Last edited by a moderator:

spoz

The Bunker Group
I’ve said before in relation to both the Attack and Hunter programs. You shouldn’t necessarily believe all you read in the press, or that various dissatisfied parties with no direct connection to the various projects claim, and which then get repeated on this, and other, forums.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Whichever version you prefer, the French politicians who ordered the bombing of Rainbow Warrior are dead, & haven't been in power since 1985 or 1995. Can't keep blaming the entire population for things that were done when the current president of France was at primary school.
Yep, and we're well over it. I was making the point that they are a tad different and a bit excitable. You poms spent what, 600 years butting heads, spears, swords muskets etc., with them so know them better than most.
 

Toptob

Member
I can't seem to find how to edit my own post so I'll post a reply instead. I hope I am allowed?!?!?! Yeah I am a little irked that I am apparently not allowed to juxtapose experiences that different defense procurement organizations seemingly have with suppliers from a certain country.

Yet the Damen reference had nothing to do with whatever they built for Australia but to illustrate how the Dutch navy and Defense Materiel Organization take an active role in in the design and development. This cooperation which is called the "gouden driehoek" in the Netherlands is often credited as the reason why the Dutch navy can acquire some pretty high quality warships for very competitive prices. And also why they experience very little "hiccups" with ships they acquired from within this "gouden driehoek".

I don't know how the Hunter class frigates have anything to do with what I said about Naval and the Attack class submarine program, nor have I said anything about BAE. Others may have mentioned them but it's unfair to put that on me!

Anyway. The reason for this post some links:

Defence Department decides 'Attack' is the best name for new subs
Future submarine project deadlocked as French shipbuilder digs in on $50 billion contract
Report warns submarine program 'dangerously off track', urges nuclear option

Some links from the state broadcaster. Would they report on things if nothing was going on? If everything was hunky dory would ABC have enough sources to establish a news story and confirm it? To me this is an indication that there's smoke, and where there's smoke...

https://venturaapdr.partica.online/...the-attack-class-costing-337-billion-too-much
Australia's future submarines: Do we need a Plan B? | APDR

Some articles from APDR. One of the remarkable things I get from these articles is how the Australian government seems to have to go through the French government to negotiate or even communicate with NAVAL about the program. Another thing I find remarkable is that there seemingly already are cost overruns before the sub has been laid down. Some of what is mentioned in these articles look like worrying indicators about the relationship between Naval and their client.

Submarines for Australia

These citizens have created an action group out of fears for the poor track record of Australian defense procurement. It seems they have some serious concerns about the submarine program.

However, my intention with this was to illustrate and juxtapose the relationship between defense procurement organizations and their suppliers. And the importance of the nature of these suppliers. The Dutch DMO is not the greatest organization and the reality in Dutch defense procurement is often disappointing. But when the navy and DMO work with their usual partners they seem to get pretty decent results for a very competitive price.

The problem I wanted to illustrate in the discussion above was why I have a mistrust of the French defense industry and Naval in particular, the main reason being that they just have a bad reputation. And how this is worrying (in the context of this thread) because the Belgian government just awarded a major Belgo-Dutch naval procurement program to the French competitor. Why I don't like the French and how they operate within the defense industry is because a lot of people in the Dutch defense sphere have had bad experiences with the French.

And this is discussed here at defensieforum.nl , I don't think I can link to specific threads. But the thread about the cougar helicopters has lots of complaints about the acquisition, training, operation and quality of both the product and the customer service offered by the French defense industry and government in regards to these helicopters. And the threads "vervanging Alkmaarklasse" and "vervanging Walrusklasse" illustrate the frustration with the mine sweeper replacement program and the fear of the Naval offering being chosen in the tender. The similarities in what the Dutch and Australian navies are looking for in their next submarines (displacement, range, capabilities, etc.). Makes a comparison between the two programs a common thing, and the fact that the "winner" of the Australian program Naval Group is still competing for the Dutch tender with a similar product. Makes the Attack class and how the program progresses, interesting in a Dutch context.

I hope I have illustrated how Naval and the French defense industry are relevant in many ways in the context of a discussion about the Dutch navy. But here are some articles that are more on topic in this regard. They are Dutch language though, but this is my favorite source on the Dutch navy and Dutch is my language. (oh I just found a translate thing at the top of the articles. LUCKY!)

Kritische reacties in Nederland op keuze voor Franse bouwer mijnenjagers

An article about the critical reaction on the selection of Naval Group for the mine hunter replacement program. Some of the things discussed there are the apparent pressure the French government exerted on their Belgian counterpart. And how Naval seems to have given a 100 or 200 million Euro discount to the Belgians. Not to the Dutch customer mind you, because we weren't making the decision this time. In that vein there are also complaints about the international procurement agreement between the Netherlands and Belgium that led to these ships and hopefully the replacement of the M-class frigates in the next decade. The main thing I take away from this is that the Belgians sold us out to the French for a measly discount that, seeing their reputation and track record, Naval will more than make up for in cost overruns.

Mijnenbestrijding: Nederlandse industrie voor 30 jaar uitgeschakeld

Here's a very good article on this program and some of the rumors surrounding it. And an interesting discussion of how European tenders work and false competitions in an environment of state owned companies.

Overzicht artikelen nieuwe mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuigen

For the interested, a collection of all his articles on the mine hunter replacement program.

IHC: meer dan alleen Franse schroefjes aandraaien van nieuwe onderzeeboten

An article on the partner that Naval has chosen in the Dutch submarine competition. And how they are assured that they would get a substantial workshare if Naval where to win. Hmmm where have we heard that before? Maybe there's another country buying similar submarines from Naval?

Nieuwe onderzeeboten: Nederlandse marine-industrie 'dreigt alleen kruimels te krijgen'

Article about the worries of the Dutch defense industry of losing out on the Submarine program. An illustration of how the Dutch government, unlike the French, does not put political pressure on prospective customers of our defense industry.

Vervanging van tien Nederlandse marineschepen ineens

An article about replacement program for ten auxiliary vessels for the Dutch navy. That originally brought me onto the mine hunter replacement and the Naval who will build those. And how I am of the opinion that it would have been possible and perhaps preferable to combine the replacement of these ships and the mine hunters into a single class of ship with modular capabilities.

Finally some examples of how the French and Naval Group approach relationships with international customers, and why I feel I'm correct to be suspicious of being (mine hunter) and becoming (submarine) once more a customer of the French. And I hope this somewhat supports my "scathing assessment" and that I have amended my folly!?!

Taiwan’s Lafayette Frigate Affair – Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption
https://www.pri.org/stories/2010-05-14/corruption-taiwan-french-connection

Dirty dealings in Taiwan.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/6491...ultibillion-dollar-submarine-sale-to-brazil-4

Bribery in Brazil

https://sites.tufts.edu/corruptarmsdeals/the-malaysian-scorpene-submarine-affair/

More corruption in Malaysia

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/business/international/france-india-submarine-leak.html
https://www.france24.com/en/20180829-india-france-rafale-jets-scandal-modi-corruption

And some incidents from India
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I can't seem to find how to edit my own post so I'll post a reply instead. I hope I am allowed?!?!?! Yeah I am a little irked that I am apparently not allowed to juxtapose experiences that different defense procurement organizations seemingly have with suppliers from a certain country.

Yet the Damen reference had nothing to do with whatever they built for Australia but to illustrate how the Dutch navy and Defense Materiel Organization take an active role in in the design and development. This cooperation which is called the "gouden driehoek" in the Netherlands is often credited as the reason why the Dutch navy can acquire some pretty high quality warships for very competitive prices. And also why they experience very little "hiccups" with ships they acquired from within this "gouden driehoek".

I don't know how the Hunter class frigates have anything to do with what I said about Naval and the Attack class submarine program, nor have I said anything about BAE. Others may have mentioned them but it's unfair to put that on me!

Anyway. The reason for this post some links:

Defence Department decides 'Attack' is the best name for new subs
Future submarine project deadlocked as French shipbuilder digs in on $50 billion contract
Report warns submarine program 'dangerously off track', urges nuclear option

Some links from the state broadcaster. Would they report on things if nothing was going on? If everything was hunky dory would ABC have enough sources to establish a news story and confirm it? To me this is an indication that there's smoke, and where there's smoke...

https://venturaapdr.partica.online/...the-attack-class-costing-337-billion-too-much
Australia's future submarines: Do we need a Plan B? | APDR

Some articles from APDR. One of the remarkable things I get from these articles is how the Australian government seems to have to go through the French government to negotiate or even communicate with NAVAL about the program. Another thing I find remarkable is that there seemingly already are cost overruns before the sub has been laid down. Some of what is mentioned in these articles look like worrying indicators about the relationship between Naval and their client.

Submarines for Australia

These citizens have created an action group out of fears for the poor track record of Australian defense procurement. It seems they have some serious concerns about the submarine program.

However, my intention with this was to illustrate and juxtapose the relationship between defense procurement organizations and their suppliers. And the importance of the nature of these suppliers. The Dutch DMO is not the greatest organization and the reality in Dutch defense procurement is often disappointing. But when the navy and DMO work with their usual partners they seem to get pretty decent results for a very competitive price.

The problem I wanted to illustrate in the discussion above was why I have a mistrust of the French defense industry and Naval in particular, the main reason being that they just have a bad reputation. And how this is worrying (in the context of this thread) because the Belgian government just awarded a major Belgo-Dutch naval procurement program to the French competitor. Why I don't like the French and how they operate within the defense industry is because a lot of people in the Dutch defense sphere have had bad experiences with the French.

And this is discussed here at defensieforum.nl , I don't think I can link to specific threads. But the thread about the cougar helicopters has lots of complaints about the acquisition, training, operation and quality of both the product and the customer service offered by the French defense industry and government in regards to these helicopters. And the threads "vervanging Alkmaarklasse" and "vervanging Walrusklasse" illustrate the frustration with the mine sweeper replacement program and the fear of the Naval offering being chosen in the tender. The similarities in what the Dutch and Australian navies are looking for in their next submarines (displacement, range, capabilities, etc.). Makes a comparison between the two programs a common thing, and the fact that the "winner" of the Australian program Naval Group is still competing for the Dutch tender with a similar product. Makes the Attack class and how the program progresses, interesting in a Dutch context.

I hope I have illustrated how Naval and the French defense industry are relevant in many ways in the context of a discussion about the Dutch navy. But here are some articles that are more on topic in this regard. They are Dutch language though, but this is my favorite source on the Dutch navy and Dutch is my language. (oh I just found a translate thing at the top of the articles. LUCKY!)

Kritische reacties in Nederland op keuze voor Franse bouwer mijnenjagers

An article about the critical reaction on the selection of Naval Group for the mine hunter replacement program. Some of the things discussed there are the apparent pressure the French government exerted on their Belgian counterpart. And how Naval seems to have given a 100 or 200 million Euro discount to the Belgians. Not to the Dutch customer mind you, because we weren't making the decision this time. In that vein there are also complaints about the international procurement agreement between the Netherlands and Belgium that led to these ships and hopefully the replacement of the M-class frigates in the next decade. The main thing I take away from this is that the Belgians sold us out to the French for a measly discount that, seeing their reputation and track record, Naval will more than make up for in cost overruns.

Mijnenbestrijding: Nederlandse industrie voor 30 jaar uitgeschakeld

Here's a very good article on this program and some of the rumors surrounding it. And an interesting discussion of how European tenders work and false competitions in an environment of state owned companies.

Overzicht artikelen nieuwe mijnenbestrijdingsvaartuigen

........

The Malaysian Scorpene Submarine Affair – Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption

More corruption in Malaysia

French Manufacturer Building Indian Submarines Suffers Major Data Leak
French Rafale jets deal sparks political storm in India

And some incidents from India
Thank you. Yes there have been a number of article in the press and by civilian think tanks in Australia. There are those pushing for SSN’s. All of this has been discussed in the RAN thread where this belongs. Some of the commentary is quite misinformed and self serving. Again, I suggest you read back through the RAN tread.

In so far as the claims of bribery are concern we are certainly aware of the reports and controversy...... however, they are not building the Attack Class ..... they are providing design of the boat itself but this is not the whole package noting systems are being provided by other providers. The disagreements over the contract were as much about Australia protecting its IP (and this is not inconsiderable).

This is not to say things will not go wrong but it should not be compared to other projects in other countries.

As noted above ... this belongs in the RAN thread
 

oldsig127

Well-Known Member
Some links from the state broadcaster. Would they report on things if nothing was going on? If everything was hunky dory would ABC have enough sources to establish a news story and confirm it? To me this is an indication that there's smoke, and where there's smoke...

https://venturaapdr.partica.online/...the-attack-class-costing-337-billion-too-much
Australia's future submarines: Do we need a Plan B? | APDR
Your choice of sources shows why I asked to see them. @alexsa has commented on most of them.leaving me the "state broadcaster" (ABC) which is not a puppet of the government, indeed both sides of politics have been irked by them which is as it should be. However, you will probably find that the Australian posters on these forums are almost universally disdainful of ABC defence reporting which is very often ill informed or agenda driven by their "defence" journalists and chosen "independent experts" (q.v. Kopp and Goon)

Not that most of the commercial mainstream press is any better.

A far better indication of the status of the project could be gleaned today, when the ABC interviewed Richard Marles (Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Defence Minister) who endorsed entirely the announcements by the PM with the sole exception that "the opposition would do it's job and hold the government to account that the strategy be delivered". He was asked whether there was any concern about the Attack or Hunter projects and replied that defence is a bipartisan policy area but that Labor was currently satisfied with the state of the projects.

I do get your point though. Dutch purchasing is definitely superior


oldsig
 

Sandhi Yudha

Active Member
I can't seem to find how to edit my own post so I'll post a reply instead. I hope I am allowed?!?!?! Yeah I am a little irked that I am apparently not allowed to juxtapose experiences that different defense procurement organizations seemingly have with suppliers from a certain country.

Yet the Damen reference had nothing to do with whatever they built for Australia but to illustrate how the Dutch navy and Defense Materiel Organization take an active role in in the design and development. This cooperation which is called the "gouden driehoek" in the Netherlands is often credited as the reason why the Dutch navy can acquire some pretty high quality warships for very competitive prices. And also why they experience very little "hiccups" with ships they acquired from within this "gouden driehoek".

I don't know how the Hunter class frigates have anything to do with what I said about Naval and the Attack class submarine program, nor have I said anything about BAE. Others may have mentioned them but it's unfair to put that on me!

Anyway. The reason for this post some links:

Defence Department decides 'Attack' is the best name for new subs
Future submarine project deadlocked as French shipbuilder digs in on $50 billion contract
Report warns submarine program 'dangerously off track', urges nuclear option

Some links from the state broadcaster. Would they report on things if nothing was going on? If everything was hunky dory would ABC have enough sources to establish a news story and confirm it? To me this is an indication that there's smoke, and where there's smoke...

Vervanging van tien Nederlandse marineschepen ineens

An article about replacement program for ten auxiliary vessels for the Dutch navy. That originally brought me onto the mine hunter replacement and the Naval who will build those. And how I am of the opinion that it would have been possible and perhaps preferable to combine the replacement of these ships and the mine hunters into a single class of ship with modular capabilities.

Finally some examples of how the French and Naval Group approach relationships with international customers, and why I feel I'm correct to be suspicious of being (mine hunter) and becoming (submarine) once more a customer of the French. And I hope this somewhat supports my "scathing assessment" and that I have amended my folly!?!

And some incidents from India
From which i understand this is also one of the reasons Fokker lost an order to ATR in Vietnam. The contract was already prepared to be signed, but at the last moment the French (ATR) came, and they got the contract, because the French government would erase a part of Vietnamese debts.
Although its unfair for Fokker, it is understandable that France did this, and they are not the only ones.

Its for sure that Hollandse Signaalapparaten/Thales Nederland will not get any orders for the CMS or sensors. I expected that the contracts will be given to Thales France, but surprisingly the British Chess Dynamics will get them. Also the gun will be not a GIAT 20 mm or something, but a Bofors 40 mm. €883.300.000 is a lot for 6 minehunters, so hopefully the Belgian and Dutch navy will not get cost overruns as a bonus.

The Indonesian Navy btw, is also looking for two new minehunters. They are interested in a German design, like the Naval one also quite large, more than 80 meters long. But if NAVAL can proof that its design is reliable and also that it can construct the ships without too much time and cost overruns, maybe the Indonesians will be also interested in the design.
 

walter

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #172
I get where TopTob is comming from,i'm on "Defensie forum" aswell and also Dutch.

What stings is,that the Belgians did choose the French design(probably the "discount"has a lot to do with it),but also that The Netherlands don't get that "discount"or (and that's even worse)work for Dutch companies(which Belgium is supposedly getting)

So they treat both countries different,although both are buying the same number of ships(which offcourse is very strange)

Also the Dutch Defense doesn't have good expierences with French made material(Cougar comes to mind,indeed)

The hope here in The Netherlands is that the to be build subs(replacement Walrus class)are going to be build by the Swedish/Dutch consortium.

This offcourse has to do with the"mentatlity" of both countries which are much closer/compareble ,even the Swedes use a simular "Gouden driehoek"when designing new stuff.

And if that "consortium"won't get the build(susbs),we even prefer(by a long way)the germans,which are also much more like us Dutchies.

But.........................it is what it is(not saying i'm happy "Top")choice is being made,minehunters,and we have to deal with it(or break the contract,but won't see that happening(also will probably start the end of BeNeSam)

By the way,the design change for the frigates(ASW)lies also ,probably,in the Belgian camp(they work with a fixed budget,the Dutch work with a more loose budget.

Hope you all get now,why we don't like to do business with the French.

And luckily for us we have a shipbuilder(might have heard of them,lol)which can build very high quality ships on budget and on time.

This are Dutch expieriences,it might be different elsewhere.
 

Toptob

Member
I get where TopTob is comming from,i'm on "Defensie forum" aswell and also Dutch.

What stings is,that the Belgians did choose the French design(probably the "discount"has a lot to do with it),but also that The Netherlands don't get that "discount"or (and that's even worse)work for Dutch companies(which Belgium is supposedly getting)

So they treat both countries different,although both are buying the same number of ships(which offcourse is very strange)

Also the Dutch Defense doesn't have good expierences with French made material(Cougar comes to mind,indeed)

The hope here in The Netherlands is that the to be build subs(replacement Walrus class)are going to be build by the Swedish/Dutch consortium.

This offcourse has to do with the"mentatlity" of both countries which are much closer/compareble ,even the Swedes use a simular "Gouden driehoek"when designing new stuff.

And if that "consortium"won't get the build(susbs),we even prefer(by a long way)the germans,which are also much more like us Dutchies.

But.........................it is what it is(not saying i'm happy "Top")choice is being made,minehunters,and we have to deal with it(or break the contract,but won't see that happening(also will probably start the end of BeNeSam)

By the way,the design change for the frigates(ASW)lies also ,probably,in the Belgian camp(they work with a fixed budget,the Dutch work with a more loose budget.

Hope you all get now,why we don't like to do business with the French.

And luckily for us we have a shipbuilder(might have heard of them,lol)which can build very high quality ships on budget and on time.

This are Dutch expieriences,it might be different elsewhere.
You're dead right Walter, dead right! We sign a cooperation agreement with those Belgians and they sell us out to the French. Very painful! So I hope that Saab-Damen gets the submarine contract as well. But if I cheekily compare this to the Attack class program, it looks like we are expecting a lot for the price. However the powers that be have adjusted down the expectations somewhat after the last phase of the program.

Staatssecretaris Visser blijft vooralsnog bij plannen nieuwe onderzeeboten
(Notice: there is a translate button in the article, it's pretty accurate)

It seems these jelly spined politicians are not only downgrading, but they are pulling out all the political stops in order to push any decision making to after the elections in march 2021. They probably went with the B-version partially to keep the Germans in play, and partially because they'd rather downgrade the requirements rather than increase the budget. And they push the decision forward because the political overlords of the defense department know f*ck all about defense and don't want to be held responsible for taking decisions. Never mind slowing down the progress once again!

There's some things we can learn from all this. First, don't leave decisions about defense related matters in the hands of a party that doesn't have the best interest of your nation at heart. It was a bad idea to let Belgium have decision rights over a Dutch defense procurement program. And the French are always looking to consolidate European defense industries into their hands, maybe that's why they like European cooperation so much.

Second, it looks to me like it's best to do as much of your defense procurement at home. Build and design for yourself what you can and look abroad only if you have to. It seems like the best results in major defense procurement programs originate from a close cooperation between a government and local industries. The gouden driehoek is one example is one of them, and I'm sure that Naval Group provides a better experience for the Marine Nationale than it does for it's international customers. It being a state owned company and all, they have little choice to treat their majority shareholder well.

Third, considering the above it's important in the sphere of defense procurement to practice some level of protectionism. I think the Netherlands is an example of how it shouldn't be done. Through the political unwillingness to invest in defense and a "liberal" approach that supposedly is meant to stimulate efficiency through competition. And an unwillingness to support local industry, we have lost most of the pearls in the necklace of the Dutch defense industry. Fokker, RDM and Signaal being examples of companies that where able to produce world class products for competitive prices. That became victims of the unwillingness of the ruling class to provide national level support like applying political pressure. And poor decision making in procurement with little regard for the needs and capabilities of local industry.

Finally, here's what I'm left thinking with regards to defense procurement. Build at home what you can and look to the outside if you must. Like numbers, the ability to produce weapons, systems and platforms in your own country has a quality all of it's own!
 
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