Submarine periscope production returns to the Netherlands
Dutch optronics company Nedinsco and German defense company Hensoldt have signed a letter of intent to start production of complex assemblies for submarine periscopes at Nedinsco’s facility in Venlo.
A Hellenic Navy Type 214 submarine (Papanikolis class). On the right the OMS 150 optronic mast (search) and in the middle the SERO 420 attack periscope. (Photo: Hans van Pijkeren / Royal Netherlands Navy)
In 2021 Nedinsco (Nederlandse Instrumenten Compagnie) will celebrate its 100-years anniversary, and like in 1921, Nedinsco will produce (German) periscopes. In recent decades, Nedinsco has still worked extensively in the military domain, for example it built thermal imaging cameras for naval vessels, night- and day vision equipment for armored vehicles, but it did not produce complete periscopes anymore. That will change.
Hensoldt and Nedinsco signed a Letter of Intent for the complete construction of SERO periscopes for Hensoldt. “The production will be done at Nedinsco’s existing facility in Venlo,” both companies wrote in a press release. “For the assembly a high-end dedicated production area will be created using state of the art optronics tooling and equipment.”
A collaboration between Hensoldt and Nedinsco is not new, Nedinsco added, but it has grown in recent years. Nedinsco has been producing parts for Hensoldt periscopes for twenty years. Parts as the motor drive, and later on the drive of the optronic masts and the optical heart of the masts, which consists of a system of lenses, cameras, filters and prisms, are already produced in Venlo.
SERO 250 periscope. (Image: Hensoldt)
The periscopes that Nedinsco will produce are members of the SERO family, and are often part of tkMS submarines. For example, the (newest) German 212A and the Portuguese 209PN submarines sail with SERO 400 periscopes . Turkish and Colombian submarines operate with SERO 250 periscopes.
The production of the first periscopes in Venlo will start in the summer of 2021 and both companies expect production to grow in the coming years.
Thanks to the extensive facilities at Nedinsco, it will also possible to repair or refurbish periscopes in the Netherlands.
The transfer of a part of the production of German periscopes to the Netherlands comes at an interesting time, given the tender for new Dutch submarines. However, the Venlo company is not exclusively associated with tkMS.