The Princess & the Onderzeedienst

Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, the heir apparent to the Dutch throne, is 18 years old and in a tradition upheld by most modern monarchies, has been making her rounds in her introduction to military service. This has included going on a training flight from an RNAF F-16NB from Volkel Air Base, taking the controls of one of Holland’s last Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, and, most important to us, visiting Den Helder to tour the Onderzeedienst— the Dutch submarine service– in action.

This included getting underway on the Zr.Ms. Zeeleeuw (S803), one of the country’s four aging but still very capable Walrus-class diesel attack boats.

The Dutch have long treasured their submarine arm, and with good reason as the OZD was the Navy’s most effective branch during WWII and proved to come in handy throughout NATO ops in the Cold War and after.

Of note, the Dutch plan to replace their 30-year-old Walruses with a class of new submarines in the very near future, with the Germans (TKMS Type 212CD), French (conventional Barracuda), and Swedes (Saab A26) all looking to get the nod.

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