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HNLMS Dolfijn (1990)
A rigid-hull inflatable boat approaches the Royal Netherlands Navy attack submarine HNLMS Dolfijn (S808) June 15, 2013, in the Baltic Sea during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2013 130615-N-ZL691-053.jpg
HNLMS Dolfijn on June 15, 2013, in the Baltic Sea during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS)
Career (Netherlands)
Name: Dolfijn
Namesake: Dolphin
Operator:  Royal Netherlands Navy
Builder: Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij
Yard number: 352
Laid down: 12 June 1986
Launched: 25 April 1990
Commissioned: 29 June 1993
Identification: S804
Status: Getting upgraded
General characteristics
Class & type: Walrus-class submarine
  • 2350 t surfaced,
  • 2650 t submerged,
  • 1,900 t standard
Length: 68 m (223 ft)
Beam: 8.5 m (28 ft)
Draught: 7.5 m (25 ft)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric (3,132 kW)
  • 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) surfaced
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) submerged
Test depth: 300 m (980 ft)
Complement: 60
Armament: Mark 48 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles

HNLMS Dolfijn (S808) is a Walrus-class submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She entered service in 1993 as the third submarine of the Walrus class, after the HNLMS Walrus and HNLMS Zeeleeuw.[1] Dolfijn has been deployed both for naval exercises and in combat operations around the world. Furthermore, the submarine plays an important role by performing intelligence operations.[2] The submarine is currently undergoing a mid-life maintenance and upgrade program, and is not in active service.[3]


HNLMS Dolfijn has taken part in several operations, a few examples are:

  • During NATO operation Allied Force, Dolfijn upheld a trade embargo off the coast of former Yugoslavia.[4] She also eavesdropped enemy communication and forwarded the obtained information to the military forces of the NATO. At the same time she also forwarded enemy ship movements to the Western European Union.[5]
  • In 2012 Dolfijn took part in anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield that took place off the coast of Somalia.[6]
  • At the beginning of 2013 the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (NLMARSOF) trained with the Dolfijn in the Caribbean Sea. This is important because in the area there is a lot of illegal drug trade and the Netherlands tries to stop this with other countries.[7]

Maintenance and upgrade[]

In 2016 Dolfijn was taken out of service after being active for years by the Royal Netherlands Navy to perform maintenance and modernize its systems.[3] For example, the ageing GIPSY combat system will be replaced with the more modern Guardion combat system.[8] Besides changing the software suit, hardware components were also either replaced or upgraded with newer versions.[9] The Medium Range Sonar (MRS) and Long Range Sonar (LRS) will get replaced by new ones. In addition a new sonar was added, which is called the Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar (MOAS). The Consoles and screens in the command room also will get an upgrade to more modern versions, while the navigation and attack periscopes will go from being depended on analog sensors to digital sensors. This will be done by replacing several masts. The holes have already been drilled for this upgrade. Lastly, the Mark 48 torpedoes were upgraded from Mod 4 to the more recent Mod 7.[3]

See also[]



  • de Bles, Harry; Boven, Graddy; Homburg, Leon (2006). Onderzeeboten!. Zaltbommel/Den Helder: Aprilis/Marinemuseum. ISBN 978-9059941304. 

External links[]

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