The Swedish Navy’s new signals intelligence ship HMS Artemis has begun sea trials from Saab’s Karlskrona yard ahead of its delivery to the armed forces. HMS Artemis will be Swedish Navy’s new platform for signal intelligence (SIGINT) and information gathering at sea. It has been given the pennant number A202. HMS Artemis will replace HMS Orion, which has been in service since 1984, providing the country with intelligence on events in the Baltic Sea. After the test and trial phase, it will be delivered to the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV, Foersvarets materielverk) and then handed over to the Swedish Navy and Armed Forces.
“Special purpose ships are primarily used for the interception and analysis of radio-transmitted signals and need to be highly reliable and available. Therefore you need highly skilled shipbuilders to build this kind of ship. We are very pleased with the progress of the construction process, and it was a pleasure to attend the keel laying ceremony at the Naval Shipyard, our partner in this project,” explained Gunnar Wieslander, senior vice president and head of Saab Business Area Kockums.
Saab was awarded the contract to design and build the SIGINT ship, which will replace the Swedish Navy’s existing HMS Orion, by the Swedish Material Defence Administration FMV in 2017. Subsequently it selected Nauta Shiprepair Yard, belonging to PGZ Group, to perform the construction, launch and early sea trials of the vessel. Cooperation in ship construction between Saab and PGZ is a direct result of the agreement, signed in late 2016, to establish a close partnership between Saab and PGZ in the planning and delivery of naval programs.
HMS Artemis was ordered on 10 April 2017 and was laid down on 19 June 2018 at the Polish shipyard Nauta. The ship was launched on 17 April 2019 and will be transferred to Karlskrona, Sweden where it will be outfitted. The vessel was expected to be commissioned in 2020. The ship will be 74 metres (242 ft 9 in) long and it will have a displacement of 2,200 tons. The project was delayed in March 2021 because the Polish shipyard had economic difficulties and was unable to finish the ship. The Swedish FMV and Saab are trying to solve the problem according to the Swedish minister of defence. Artemis will continue to be managed by Saab.