Saab and the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) have signed two agreements relating to Sweden’s next generation of surface ships and corvettes. The agreements are worth SEK 190 million (about $23 million) in total. They cover the product definition phase for the mid-life upgrades (MLU) of Sweden’s five Visby-class corvettes and the product definition phase for the next generation Visby Generation 2 corvettes.
Designed for stealth, the Visby class corvettes are of composite sandwich construction, which reduces both their weight and their radar and infrared signatures. The ships’ distinctive angular design further reduces the radar signature.
The contracts mark the initial step for the start of the modification work of the five corvettes and the acquisition of the Visby Generation 2.
“The contracts are a major step forward for Sweden’s surface combat capability, with the upgrade of current corvettes and the creation of the next generation vessels,” said Lars Tossman, Head of Saab’s Business Area Kockums. “The Visby corvettes have been pioneers for 20 years, and after mid-life upgrades they will be well equipped for future assignments. The experience and knowledge that the Visby class has gathered over the years will feed into the development of Visby Generation 2.”
The Visby Generation 2 is a development of Visby-class version 5 and will be equipped with a modern anti-ship missile system, torpedo system and air defense missile system.
The first Visby-class corvette was launched on June 8, 2000 and today five corvettes are in operational service. The mid-life upgrades are aimed at making the five ships operationally relevant beyond 2040. In addition to modifying the ships’ existing systems, an air defense missile system will be added as a new capability. The ships’ RBS15 anti-ship missile system will be upgraded to the latest version as will the torpedo system, with the new Saab lightweight topedo.