Saab has signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk, FMV) on the life extension of two Koster-class mine countermeasures ships. The order value is SEK 350 million ($33 million). The contract also includes options for FMV to order measures regarding the remaining three ships in the Koster-class. The total value of the options are SEK 270 million. The contract with FMV means that Saab will carry out life extensions of two Koster-class mine countermeasures ships. The modernisation involves an exchange of systems for life extension and enhanced capabilities to ensure continued operability.
“The mine countermeasure ships are an important capability for Sweden and for the protection of the Baltic Sea. The contract means that the ships’ continued availability is ensured and is a testament to Saab’s competence to modify and develop capabilities on existing platforms,” says Lars Tossman, Head of Saab business area Kockums.
The Koster class is a class of five mine-countermeasure vessels currently in use by the Swedish Navy. Built between 1982 and 1993 as part of the seven-strong Landsort-class mine countermeasures vessels, the last five ships of the class were given a comprehensive midlife upgrade between 2007 and 2010, which resulted in HMS Koster becoming the lead ship of the newly upgraded class of MCMVs. After the upgrade, the Swedish Navy expects that it will serve on for another 15 to 20 years. An identifying feature of the Koster class is the fire control radar on top of the bridge.
Mine countermeasures ships’ main duties are naval mine clearance, submarine hunting and maritime surveillance. The programme includes, among other things, a new navigation radar installation and improved capabilities linked to combat systems and surface sensors. When engaged in anti-submarine warfare, the ships can for example use mines, depth charges and grenades. At the same time, the Koster-class mine countermeasures ships were equipped with increased capabilities such as, for example, remotely controlled underwater vehicles.