Staff, Seapower Magazine
15 September 2015
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Defense and security company Saab has begun construction of the world’s most modern submarine program, the A26, the company said in a Sept. 15 release. On Sept. 4 the first steel for the new vessel was cut at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona.
The A26 is a next-generation submarine with the ability to perform in all oceans and across a broad spectrum of conflict environments. Along with its traditional load of mines and torpedoes, the submarine can be equipped with missiles. Perhaps the most unique A26 design feature is its Multi Mission Portal, for the launch and retrieval of diverse mission payloads, such as manned and unmanned vehicles. The A26 submarine will be a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defense network.
“We have left the design phase behind and begun construction of the A26, a pillar of Sweden’s future naval defense,” Gunnar Wieslander, head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums, said in the release. “With the A26 you can always adapt the submarine to the mission in hand. Now that production has started it is a clear signal to other potential customers around the world that Saab is ready to deliver to them as well.”
On June 30, Saab signed contracts with the Swedish Defence Material Administration to construct, verify and deliver two new Type A26 submarines to a total order value of SEK7.6 billion. The first delivery will be in 2022.
The submarines will be powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery and quipped with the Kockums Stirling AIP (air-independent propulsion) system. The Stirling system makes the A26 very stealthy and difficult to detect. The A26 boosts all the traditional operational capabilities of a submarine and is also a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defense network. Its proven modular design ensures availability, with efficient through-life upgrades and adaptations, and low life-cycle costs.