Production starts on the world’s most modern submarine

The world’s most modern submarine, the Saab Kockums A26 is now well underway with the first steel cutting made last month.

Saab Kockums is building the Swedish Navy’s next-generation submarine in its Karlskrona shipyard in Sweden.

Engineers from Saab Australia’s Adelaide-based headquarters will join the submarine design and construction team building the Swedish Navy’s next generation submarine and managing the Gotland-class mid-life upgrade program.

The first of five Australian engineers leave for Sweden next week and the last one will be on the ground in March 2016.

“The A26 is a next-generation submarine designed to perform in all oceans, across a broad spectrum of conflict environments,” says Gunnar Wieslander, head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums.

Along with its traditional load of mines and torpedoes, the submarine can also carry missiles. Perhaps the most unique A26 design feature is its Multi Mission Portal™, for launching and retrieving diverse mission payloads like manned or autonomous vehicles.

The A26 is a new standard bearer; a step forward in the Swedish tradition of modular design and building as it can be adapted for the mission at hand. It provides maximum operation efficiency and has lower lifecycle costs too.

“With the A26 now in production, Saab has sent a clear signal to potential customers around the world that we do indeed build submarines and deliver,” says Gunnar Wieslander.

On 30 June 2015, Saab signed contracts with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to construct, verify and deliver two new Type A26 submarines to a total order value of SEK7.6 billion. The first delivery will be 2022.

A26 submarine for the Swedish Navy is the world’s most modern submarine programme. The submarines will be powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery and equipped with the Kockums Stirling AIP (air-independent propulsion) system.

The Stirling system makes the A26 very stealthy and difficult to detect. The A26 boosts all the traditional operational capabilities of a submarine and is also a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defence network. Its proven modular design ensures availability, with efficient through-life upgrades and adaptations, and low life cycle costs.

Saab Australia’s investment in the A26 build program is one example of Saab’s technology transfer programs which help build local, indigenous capability.

Saab has been transferring technology from Sweden since 1988, starting with the 9LV combat management system for the Anzac class frigates which has been one of Australia’s most successful defence and ship building programs.

Gunnar Öhlund will be at Pacific 2015 on the Saab stand to answer questions about the A26, the world’s most modern submarine.