On 29 October the Royal Dutch Submarine HNLMS Walrus was photographed pier side at Naval Station Norfolk after eight days of training with U.S. and Dutch naval assets taking part in TACDEVEX 08-08. The exercise off Cape Cod included realistic undersea weapons and tactics training for both the Dutch and American submarine crews. The four Dutch Walrus -class submarines entered service in the early 1990s, several years before the advent of true air-independent propulsion capable submarines, however, they remain advanced, quiet, and modern by diesel submarine standards. The Walrus and her sisters— Zeeleeuw , Dolfijn , and Bruinvis —each displace 2,800 tons submerged and sail with a complement of around 50 sailors and officers.
The Royal Netherlands Navy surface fleet also had a busy autumn including, on 8 November, the Dutch air-defense frigate De Zeven Provincien successfully launching two Harpoon antiship missiles during an exercise off the Virginia coast. The launches were part of operational training activities designed to mimic a hostile surface attack against the high-tech frigate. This engagement—with Harpoon Block 1C missiles that engaged and destroyed their objective—was reportedly the first time the Dutch Navy launched multiple Harpoon missiles at a single target. Capable of being launched from aircraft, surface ships, or submarines, the Harpoon was originally designed for the U.S. Navy in the late 1970s. To date more than 7,000 Harpoons have been produced for 27 nations, making it one of the most successful naval missiles of all time.
South Korea hosted a long-planned five-day international fleet review in October 2008 commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the government and armed forces of the Republic of Korea. Some 50 ships from 13 navies took part in the festivities including the U.S. Navy's Los Angeles - class submarine USS Buffalo (SSN-715) and the aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN-73). One of the highlights of the event was the appearance of South Korea's newest and largest amphibious assault ship, Dokdo , carrying some 2,000 dignitaries for the review. Commissioned into service late in 2007, the 18,860-ton (full load) amphibious ship has a stern docking well and a large flight deck capable of carrying ten helicopters. The Dokdo can also carry more than 700 troops along with 10 heavy tanks, trucks, artillery, and other supporting equipment. Construction of the assault ship began in 2002 and she was launched in 2005. A second unit of the class, Marado , is expected in service by 2010, and a third, built to a slightly modified design, will likely join the fleet by 2015. Built by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company, the Dokdo is armed for self-defense with rolling-airframe missiles and 30-mm Goalkeeper guns.