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Moray computer image (Image: RDM Submarines b.v.) Moray computer image (Image: RDM Submarines b.v.)


In 1985, during construction of the Walrus (2)-class, the Dutch shipyard R.D.M. (Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij B.V) and NEVESBU started a new range of advanced and flexible submarine designs incorporating the latest developments in sensors and weapons data handling and R.D.M.-developed Atmosphere Independent Propulsion (AIP).
The Moray is a an advanced conventional submarine designed by the R.D.M. and NEVESBU. Moray stands for Multi Operational Requirement Affected Yield, the submarine is of a modular design, so it is possible to make a choice between a 1100 t, 1400 t and +/- 1800 t submerged version. The 1800 and 1400 studies were completed in 1993 and 1997.

The Moray project was started in the mid-eighties as a private venture by R.D.M., financed by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economics and R.D.M. of  submarines using the technology employed on the Royal Netherlands Navy Walrus (2) class. The Moray has a submerged displacement of between 1100 and 1800 tons, depending on customer requirements. Its design incorporates the expertise and building experience of both the Zwaardvis (2) and the Walrus (2) classes, using the hardware and systems of both classes wherever possible. It can optionally incorporate an A.I.P. (Atmospheric Independent Propulsion) propulsion system based on the closed-cycle diesel engine system (designed by the Germany's Thyssen Nord See Werke, Hollandís RDM and Britainís Carlton Deep Sea Systems). It can also incorporate hardware from various sources, such as French sonar, German engines, etc., depending on customer preference.

Unfortunately, no customer has showed up and the Royal Netherlands Navy has likewise shown no interest. The Spanish Navy rejected this project in the early nineties in its quest for a modern conventional attack submarine.

In July 1996 a possible sale of a Moray 1400 to Indonesia is reported (complete article). Moray computer image (Image: RDM Submarines b.v.)

In July 1998 Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Egypt might buy two Moray 1400 submarines.  (complete article).

In March 1999 the USNI reported the deal with Egypt is off. (complete article).

In June 1999 the CEO of RDM submarines, Mr. T. Kiewik, presented the Moray 1400 to the press and stated that the Dutch company RDM submarines expects that in the next ten years there will be a market for 100, up to 150, new submarines world wide. RDM hopes to get a market share of 20% with their Moray class submarines. It is expected that the first two units (Moray 1400 type) will be sold before the end of this year. The price of a single unit will be between 450 and 650 million Dutch guilders (225 and 325 US$), depending on the installed equipment. For this project RDM submarines works together with Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems and  Ingals Shipbuilding.

In Aug 1999 there is news of a 'closed' deal between RDM Submarines, Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems (USA), shipyard Litton Ingals (USA) and the Egyptian Navy (complete article).

In Sept 1999 it is reported that the Aug 1999 deal might not include a newly built Moray submarine. But at the same time other sources report the 'RDM / Egypt' deal does indeed include the new Moray design. Possibly the 2nd hand Zwaardvis (2)-class subs are thrown in (and refitted) for 'free'. All this so RDM can sell their first Moray. (complete article).

In Nov 1999 it is reported that RDM wants to sue Portuguese government because RDM was unlawfully (according to RDM) scratched from the list of yards that could possibly deliver 2 or 3 submarines to Portugal. RDM would like to sell the Moray 1400 to Portugal and the Dutch yard says that there is no good reason why the Dutch offer was turned down. RDM stated: "We met every requirement of the Portuguese government".

On 14 Jan 2000 the Portuguese newspaper Publico features an article saying that the Portuguese courts "refused" action against the Portuguese Ministry of Defence by the Dutch RDM Submarines B.V.

Other sources reported that the Portuguese did not like the battery storage being oneMoray 1400 computer image (Image: RDM Submarines b.v.) single compartment (like in the Walrus(2) class), but the plans were modified and now the battery compartment contains a dividing wall. The Portuguese also did not like the fact that there was only one DSRV docking station (aft of the sail), but after modifications the plans provided for an other DSRV docking station on the forward hatch.
The evaluation committee did not take these modifications into account because the plans were finished after the 'tender closing date'. The committee stated that she favoured the German 209 submarine, although it had some problems, like not being divided in enough watertight compartments. But these problems could be solved by some modifications.
Because R.D.M.'s modifications were not taken into account, while the 209 modifications seemed no problem, the Dutch Yard tried to sue the Portuguese Government.

In Apr 2000 it is reported that According to the newest rumours the submarine deal between the Dutch RDM shipyard and Egypt is off. But it is also reported (rumours) that there are negotiations between RDM and Malaysia about the sale of the two decommissioned (and bought by RDM) ex-Dutch Navy Zwaardvis (2)-class submarines. The Malaysian Navy would use one, or both, of these subs as training boats.

On Sep 28/29 2000 the Dutch NRC and RD newspaper report: RDM's first Moray submarine is almost sold. The Egyptian government and the Dutch RDM shipyard signed a letter of intent for the sell of two Moray submarines. These Dutch submarines will be constructed in the USA. Therefore a consortium was founded between RDM, Ingalls Shipbuilding en Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems. RDM Submarines, in corporation with the Dutch design bureau NEVESBU, will provided the designs. RDM Submarines will be present on site in order to assist the American builders.

This letter of intent is the first step toward a contract. After the final contract is signed there will be negotiations on technical and personnel support from the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Since the Camp David peace treaty (1979) the USA promised Egypt to built and finance submarines for the Egyptian Navy. In exchange 50% of the money should be reinvested in the USA by ordering parts of the submarine in the USA. The problem was that the US Navy only designs and builds nuclear submarines, which are too expensive for the Egyptian Navy. The Moray submarines designed by RDM have diesel-electric propulsion.

The negotiations will probably be concluded early 2001. The construction of the  submarines will take about five years.

On Oct 17 2000 Janes Defence Weekly reports: The Egyptian government has signed a letter of intent (LoI) to purchase two new Dutch-designed Moray-class diesel-electric submarines from an industry team led by Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The deal, under US Foreign Military Funding (FMF) arrangements, will be the first sale of RDM Submarines' Moray design and will also mark the resumption of non-nuclear submarine building in the USA.

Ingalls Shipbuilding is prime contractor for the order, with RDM Submarines (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & SurveillanceMoray 1400 (Drawing: RDM Submarines b.v.) Systems (NE&SS) Undersea Systems (Manassas, Virginia) as major subcontractors.

The LoI was issued last month: negotiations are continuing on the detailed terms of the sale, with the aim to have a contract effective in the first half of next year. The intended purchase of the Moray-class submarines will augment the Egyptian Navy's existing fleet of four ex-USSR Improved Romeo-class (Type 033) (SKK) patrol submarines.

Both submarines will be built at the Ingalls facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with delivery anticipated between five and seven years after contract signature. As major subcontractors, RDM Submarines will act as the Moray design authority and production supervisor, while Lockheed Martin NE&SS Undersea Systems will deliver the SUBICS 900 combat system and perform overall combat system integration.

The industry arrangements are designed to address FMF program stipulations. Egypt is entitled to use FMF funds to buy submarines, but the program mandates reinvestment of at least half of the funds in the US economy. As the USA has no existing conventional submarine manufacturing base, an overseas partner was required.

Several years ago Ingalls and German submarine builder Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) Kiel teamed to offer the Type 209-class submarine to Egypt but funding issues could not be resolved at the time.

On Oct 19 2000 it is reported that the next step in the process is a MOU between the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Egyptian Navy. After the MOU the contract negotiations, in which Ingalls Shipbuilding will be the prime contractor, will start. One of the next meetings in the process will be during the EURONAVAL exhibition/conference.

On 27 Oct 2000 the " Middle East Newsline" reports: Egypt has decided on the selection of a U.S.-built diesel submarine to respond to the delivery of German submarines to its Israeli rival. The government of President Hosni Mubarak has chosen the Moray-class diesel-electric submarines. The submarines are designed by the Dutch RDM but will be built in the United States so that Egypt can pay for them in U.S. military aid. Egypt is set to receive $1.3 billion in military aid in fiscal 2001.

On 18 Apr 2001 the Associated Press / Kyodo reports that the United States has agreed in principle to sell eight diesel-powered submarines to Taiwan . . . . .The subs, based on German and Dutch designs, will be assembled by General Motors Corp. and Litton Industries Inc. in the United States and tested by the U.S. Navy.  Full story

On 19 Apr 2001 the Taipei Times reports that the US built diesel subs for Taiwan wilt not be designed by the Dutch, but by the Germans. Full story

On 20 Apr 2001 it is reported that according to some US sources there is no way that China will agree with the sale of Submarines (or Aegis cruisers) to Taiwan. These same sources report that Taiwan just wants to set the stakes very high so they have a better chance to get less capable systems, like the Kidd class destroyers, in the end.

On 23 Apr 2001 it seems that the Taipei Times can not make up its mind. A few days ago they reported that the subs for Taiwan (full story) will be of German design, but today they report the subs will be of German or Dutch design. The Associated Press already reported this on the 18th.

On 24 Apr 2001 USN Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley stated the following:

Q: Is there a precedent with Egypt and U.S. companies being in involved in a diesel-electric submarine of European origin? Isn't that working its way through the process?

Quigley: News to me. Let me take that. It's the first I've heard of that. [In September 2000, Egypt signed a letter of intent with a consortium of Lockheed Martin Undersea, Ingalls and RDM (a Dutch company) to build two Dutch "Moray" class submarines. The subs will be built at the Ingalls facility in Mississippi. Egypt requested a waiver to use foreign military financing (FMF) grant funds to build these submarines and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved the waiver in principle.]

On 23 Apr 2001 several sources report that Bush administration has agreed to help Taiwan purchase diesel-powered submarines. Because the United States no longer makes that type of sub, it will have to find a friendly third nation, probably the Netherlands or Germany, to provide them.

On 25 Apr 2001 a Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that in 1984 the Netherlands agreed with China not to sell any more weapons to Taiwan. Frank de Bruin, a Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman, said, "The Netherlands maintains a one-China policy. That means no weapons are to be sold to Taiwan or to third parties for resale to Taiwan." The Dutch RDM company also denied that they might design these subs.

On 3 May 2001 the Taipei Times reports that the US has plans to build Dutch-designed Moray submarines for Egypt. If the plan is finalized, the construction is scheduled to take place at Northrop Grumman's Ingall Shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi. . . . . Though rumors abound of secret German and Dutch plans to build the hulls and ship them to the US for outfitting, it would be a terrible waste of time and money. Though the US might be able to persuade Germany, the Netherlands or Sweden to issue licensing, it does not appear likely in the near future.

On 18 Oct 2001 several sources report that RDM is still offering its Moray design to the US/Taiwan. Full story

On 24 Oct 2001 the NRC reports the Moray deal with Malaysia and Egypt is possibly off. Full story

On 19 Nov 2001 the Agence France Presse reports that Northrop is looking at using a modified version of the Netherlands' RDM Moray-class design that Northrop's Ingalls Shipyard plans to build for the Egyptian Navy. They also report that export restrictions for Taiwan could be avoided. The US could get the blueprints from a friendly country that has bought RDM submarines and provide them to the USN. Full story

On 20 Nov 2001 the Business Times reports:: The Malaysian government is finalizing negotiations to buy four submarines and is expected to award a contract next month. Talks are continuing with at least three companies that have tendered for contracts to supply the submarines, a government official said, adding that "contracts will be awarded next month... probably for two submarines first, and two more sometime next year." Among the bidders are France's DCN International, the Netherlands' RDM Submarines, and the German-Turkish Submarine Corp led by Germany's Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Ferrostaal. . . .more related info

On 21 Nov 2001 Janes Defence Weekly reports that France is close to securing a contract to supply submarines to Malaysia. . . . .Their source (a report in the Paris Busuniss Daily of Nov 5) follows an announcement last month by Abdul Razak that Malaysia would no longer be considering a proposal by the Netherlands-based RDM shipyard to supply two used Zwaardvis-class, the Zwaardvis and the Tijgerhaai, and two new build Moray-class SSKs to the RMN. . . . . more related news.

In Feb 2002 AMI reports that the Egyptian Moray program could face further delays since US Congressional critics are lobbying to reduce the US annual military aid package to Egypt. . . . . more related news.

in Oct 2003 Sea Power International report there are rumours about negotiations between RDM-submarines and Indonesia. The deal might also include two Moray's. . . . . more related news


Moray 1800 pfH
(provision for
hybrid  propulsion)
1800 H 1400 1400 H 1100
Type Dutch design SSK for export
Build/Ordered None
Design R.D.M. Submarines and NEVESBU
Le. 66.5 m 75.9 m 57.9 m 64 55.7
Be. 6.4 m 6.4 m 6.4 m 6.4 6.4 m
Dr. 5.5 m 5.5 m 5.5 m - 5.6 m
Displ stnrd. 1451 t 1626 t 1220 t - 960 t
Displ subm. 1907 t 2233 t 1540 t 1827 t 1180 t
Displ surf. - - - 1620 t -
Hull HY-100 steel
Propulsion Diesel-electric
Optional AIP The 1800 can be equipped with a special module, 9 m in length, which provides room for two closed-cycle diesel systems. Unlike the 1800 H the 1800 pfH is not equipped with this module. The system consists of a diesel-generator-set (440 kwe), a storage tank for lox and a water management system which is used to remove excessive CO2.
The 1400 H has a CCD-AIP system of 300 kW(e).
Engines MTU 16 V 396SB83 diesel engines, 1040 kwe
Generators Pillar generators, 980 kw max., 970 kw eff.
Generators 3xDsl+gen.
Output 2940
3 kw
Output 2940+800
3+2 kw
Output 2340/2205
3 kw
Output 2205 kW(we)
Output 2080
2 kw
Main motor Main motor +/- 5000 kw, water cooled.
Batteries 2 x 210 cells
Fuel 170 t 135 t -   -
Speed Surf. 12 kts 12 kts 12 kts 12 kts  
Speed snort. 12 kts 12 kts 12 kts 12 kts 12 kts
Speed min. subm. 2 kts 2 kts 2 kts 2 kts 2 kts
Speed subm.
max. oper.
20 kts 19.5 - - -
Speed subm
21.5 kts 20.5 kts >21 kts >20 kts 20 kts
Patrol time
subm. at 2 kts
145 hrs 477 hrs 100/115 hr 570 hrs 120 hrs
Range at 6 kts
10900 nm 6800 nm 8800 nm
9100 nm @ 5 kts
6000 @ 5 kts 6300 nm
Indiscretion rate - - <12.7% @ 6 kts 0 -
Autonomy 65 days 65 days 50 50 -
Diving depth
300 m 300 m 300 m 300 m 200 m
Diving depth
360 m 360 m 360 m 360 m 360 m
Accommodation 42 42 36 - 21
Complement 38 38 32 32 21
Torpedo tubes 6x21" bow 6x21" bow 6x21" bow 6x21" bow 4x21" bow
Armament 20 20 18 18 12
Periscopes Electronic Periscopes from Pilkington Optronics (Barr & Stroud Limited) such as the CK038 and CH088.
Data/combat Probably the Spectrum II data/combat system.
Notes Floating wire and towed array optional


In an 1999/2000 article on "Taiwan's future diesel-electric submarines" by AMI International the following Moray specifications where given. Note that these Moray's are to be built in corporation with Ingalls Shipbuilding and Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems. 

Unit Cost (US$) 500M (Est.)
Builder Ingalls Shipbuilding or China Shipbuilding Corporation using the RDMS Moray design.
Displ. Tons 1,595 (submerged)
Length 57m (187ft)
Beam 6.4m (20.9ft)
Draft 5.4m (17.7ft)
Machinery Diesel-electric: Three diesels; one shaft; one propeller. (Est.)
Speed (Knots) 12 (surfaced or snorting); 20 submerged. (Est.)
Range 9,000nm (surfaced/snorting): 300 (submerged). (Est.)
Diving Depth 300m (984.2ft) (Est.)
Complement 25 (including 5 officers) (Est.)
Weapons Torpedoes: Six 21 inch (533mm) tubes with a weapons load-out of 18 torpedoes (Mk 37) or Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles.
Missiles SSM: Harpoon.
CMS/Fire Control Lockheed Martin SUBICS 900. (Est.)
Radar Surface search: Open.
Countermeasures ESM: Open.
Sonar Open. Probably bow-mounted cylindrical and flank arrays; intercept and mine avoidance.
Periscope Open. Probably Kollmorgen Model 76 Attack and Search periscopes.







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