Saab has today received a further order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) to continue the development and production, as well as expand the capabilities, of the two A26 Blekinge class submarines previously ordered by Sweden. The order value is SEK 5.2 billion and the delivery of the two submarines will take place in 2027 and 2028. The new submarine project was intended to be an improved version of the Gotland class, which will be considered obsolete around 2015–2017 according to Per Skantz, development co-ordinator at the Marine headquarters in Stockholm.
“Saab is currently constructing the world’s most advanced conventional submarine. The new capabilities that are to be added to the A26 will give an additional edge within the weapon system and stealth technology among other things. With support from Saab’s skilled employees and investments, the important industrial submarine capability in Sweden has been restored,” says Micael Johansson, Saab’s President and CEO.
In June 2015, Sweden ordered the new A26 Blekinge class submarine, which is tailor-made for Swedish conditions. The capability to construct and build submarines places Sweden among the few countries in the world with the ability to develop advanced submarines. The Swedish submarine capability is among the most cost-efficient and modern in the market. The submarine would displace 1,900 tonnes and have a crew complement of between 17 and 31 men. The 2008–2010 military budget memorandum to the Minister for Defence by the Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén would require the type to cost no more than the current Gotland class (about 1.5 billion SEK).
The new submarine would have blue water capability, something earlier Swedish submarines have lacked. It will be equipped with modified AIP stirling propulsion and GHOST (Genuine HOlistic STealth) technology, making the submarine extremely quiet. It will also be designed to withstand significant shock loads from underwater explosions and would be able to “Launch and recover vehicles” through its torpedo tubes. There are three variants available: the Pelagic, Oceanic, and Oceanic (Extended Range). The entire Blekinge-class submarine family has been offered for export equipped with 18 vls-cells for Tomahawk cruise missiles.