On Friday, March 15, STASDEF announced that the bid evaluation produced a distinctive ranking with a clear winner: Naval Group. An important step. After all, the process has been long and has demanded a lot from all parties involved in this process. That we are entering a new phase is therefore good. Also to keep the shortage in our submarine capacity as small and short as possible. The House of Representatives is now going to consider this proposed award decision.


The D letter explains the decision to proceed with the award of the order for the delivery of four new submarines to replace the current Walrus-class submarines. The preliminary award decision is based on the outcome of the tender process involving three foreign candidate yards. The departments involved have agreed to the Defense Department’s proposal to award the order to the winning shipyard based on ranking according to the award model.

Industrial Cooperation Agreement (ICA)

For the adoption of the provisional award decision, EZK’s assessment of the proposals of the candidate yards for industrial cooperation was taken into account in the decision-making process. EZK’s note on the Industrial Cooperation Agreement (ICA) assessment as submitted to the MCOV will be made available separately to the Chamber for confidential inspection. EZK’s note will be explained in the confidential technical briefing on the preliminary award decision. The technical briefing is scheduled/agendared for March 27, 2024.

In addition to the winning yard’s bid and the resulting Dutch involvement, the letter includes information on the program frameworks product, time, money and risks.

Progress Report

Attached to the D letter in Annex A is the third VOZBT program progress report. Defense reports periodically on progress under the Major Projects Regulation, in the current phase annually by April 1. The National Audit Office (ADR) is preparing an audit report that will be offered a few weeks after the D letter.

Technical briefing

The D-Letter contains four annexes that will be made available to the Chamber for confidential inspection. The Chamber has been promised a confidential technical briefing on the making of the preliminary award decision. Again, the technical briefing is scheduled/agendared for March 27, 2024

The Court of Audit is preparing a research report on the D phase, following previous AR investigations into the A phase and B phase of the VOZBT program. The ARK expects to be presented the research report to the chamber by May 23, and earlier if possible.

Parliamentary consideration and contract.

Thereafter, the Chamber will set a date for parliamentary consideration of the D letter. After parliamentary consideration of the letter, the decision will become final and the Defense Department can sign the supply contract and a Memorandum of Understanding with the national government of the winning yard. The condition for contract signing is that the winning yard has reached agreement with EZK on the ICA (legally binding agreement). Defense plans to sign the contract around July 2024.

The ICA is signed by the MINEZK and the winning yard, prior to the delivery contract. The ICA consists of a general main part and an appendix that defines all activities proposed by the concerned yard. The data in the ICA, the amounts, are fixed, they cannot be changed. MINEZK monitors the implementation of the ICA. The ICA is expanded proportionally with activities and the financial obligation increased when the conservation contract is signed.

The D Letter follows the DMP letters previously sent to the House of Representatives for this program, namely the A Letter (June 17, 2016) and the B Letter (December 13, 2019).

Download the D-letter

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