Sweden lays keel for new signals intelligence ship

Swedish shipbuilder Saab held a keel laying ceremony for the Swedish Navy’s new signals intelligence (SIGINT) ship.

Marcin Dabrowski, Nauta Shiprepair Yard management board chairman and Saab's Gunnar Wieslander at the keel laying ceremony. Photo: Saab

The ceremony took place Friday at the Naval Shipyard, in Gdynia, Poland, and was attended by representatives from Saab, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and invited guests.

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 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.

“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.

The steel cutting for the ship took place in March 2018. Before the ship is delivered to the Swedish Navy, it will undergo final sea trials and installation of equipment with Saab Kockums in Karlskrona.

According to Saab, the new ship will be 74 meters long, displace 2,200 tonnes and will replace HSwMS Orion which was launched in 1984.