Polish defence website Defence24.pl had reported, the Swedish government has asked the parliament to issue an approval of the sale of two Södermanland-class submarines to Poland: HSwMS “Södermanland” and HSwMS “Östergötland”. The government also indicated that those vessels shall be operated by the Polish Navy. The acquisition of the second hand submarines will fill a gap until the Orka new generation submarine procurement programme is finalized by Poland. Relevant documents issued on 9th April this year have been transferred to the Parliament, being an element of the 2020 budget amendment bill.
The Swedish Navy possesses two of Södermanland-class diesel-electric attack submarines. These submarines are 60.5 meters long with a 6.1-meter-wide beam and can travel up to 20 knots when submerged. Their weapons systems are capable of firing torpedoes using six 533mm and three 400mm torpedo tubes. The pressure hull had been cut in two after the sail and a 12 m (39 ft 4 in) long new section with an air-independent propulsion system was inserted. The AIP system can provide electric energy to extend the submarine’s submerged time from days to weeks. Two submarines of similar modifications, known as the Archer class are in service with the Republic of Singapore Navy.
Currently Poland operates a single Kilo-class submarine that dates back to the late 1980s, along with two Kobben submarines that are much older and need to be replaced. Sweden’s Saab Kockum is also in the race to supply Poland with its A26-class subs under the Orka program expected to cost some 10 billion zloty ($2.6 billion). The Polish Defence Ministry received three bids to acquire three new subs under its Orka (Orca) program. France’s Naval Group offered its Scorpene-class subs armed with MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (NCM), Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems bid its 212CD-class vessels, and Saab Kockum’s offered its A26-class subs.