The Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) announced that the Swedish Navy (Svenska marinen) received the first-in-class submarine HSwMS Gotland after the comprehensive Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) on May 14. HSwMS Gotland is currently the most modern, silent and efficient submarine in the Baltic and North Seas. The upgraded submarine was delivered to the Swedish Navy’s 1st Submarine Flotilla (Första ubåtsflottiljen, 1. ubflj) by Saab Kockums and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk, FMV). The second submarine, HSwMS Uppland, will soon be ready for delivery. The submarine was relaunched on June 19 last year following the completion of the MLU.
For the upgrade, the submarine was cut open in the mid-tank section for adding a new two-meter section including seawater cooling, freshwater cooling, and water chiller units. The pressure hull has been cut off and welded back together. The new two meter-long section enables new systems for optimising energy on board. Two of the three Gotland-class submarines have now concluded comprehensive mid-life upgrades (MLU) and are equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow. The upgrades make the submarines even more silent and thereby difficult to track and destroy. There is an option for the modernization and upgrade of the third submarine of the class, HSwMS Halland.
Traditional optical periscope was replaced with a new Safran optronic mast for enhanced surveillance. For the upgrade, the submarine was cut open in the mid-tank section for adding a new two-meter section including seawater cooling, freshwater cooling, and water chiller units. The upgrade process saw the replacement of many important systems, such as the Stirling Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) Mk3, Kongsberg’s SA9510S sonar, Exelis’ ES-3701 electronic warfare systems communications systems similar to the one set to be fitted aboard the next generation A26 submarine. Two new submarines are also being built and they are to be named HSwMS Blekinge and HSwMS Skåne, it will be called the Blekinge class.
HSwMS Gotland (Gtd) is a defense submarine of the Swedish Navy. It was the first ship of the Gotland-class, which was the first operational submarine class in the world to use air-independent propulsion in the form of Stirling engines. It was built by Kockums, launched in 1995, and subsequently commissioned in 1996. In 2004, the Swedish Government received a request from the United States of America to lease Gotland—Swedish-flagge for use in anti-submarine warfare exercises. Gotland managed to penetrate the defensive measures of Carrier Strike Group 7 undetected and snap several pictures of USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific Ocean, effectively “sinking” the aircraft carrier.