The Netherlands plans to allow women to serve aboard the country’s attack submarines, Royal Netherlands Navy top submariner, said this week.
Capt. Hugo L.J. Ammerlaan told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad the change was imminent but gave no timeline for the integration of women into the services diesel electric attack boats (SSKs).
“No more discussion, it’s going to happen”, chief executive Hugo Ammerlaan read a translation of his comments to AD.
“It is no longer of this time that we only admit men, we are just about the last country in the modern world that doesn’t do it.”
The Netherlands will join NATO allies the U.S., U.K., Germany, Norway, Canada and France that have all allowed women to serve onboard submarines in the last several years.
“Another reason for Defense to open the submarine service to women is a shortage of well qualified staff. Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said last year that she is in favor of this change,” reported NL Times this week.
The Dutch field four domestically built 2,800 ton Walrus-class submarines and have plans to replace the boats starting in 2025.
The 1990s-era boats have been used since 2010 as part of anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Following the submarine policy change, the Dutch marines will be the only part of the Netherlands’ military that will remain male only.