Saab becomes the world’s first shipyard having completed full modification of two submarines in a single year

Saab becomes the world's first shipyard having completed full modification of two submarines in a single year

Saab becomes the world’s first shipyard having completed full modification of two submarines in a single year

Submarines HMS Gotland and HMS Uppland completely overhauled within 12 months 

(PRESS RELEASE) STOCKHOLM, 21-Jun-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — With the relaunch of the Gotland-class submarine HMS Uppland, which took place on 19 June 2019, Saab announced that it now has two of the Gotland-class submarines gone through comprehensive mid-life upgrades (MLU) being equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow.

Having a second Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine relaunched within just 12 months period illustrates the skills and capacity of a world-class shipyard. Indeed, only a few companies in the world are capable of running mid-life upgrades while in parallel developing the next generation of AIP submarines and Saab is one of them.

Saab relies on its modular philosophy, which offers the customers that operate a fleet of submarines a unique and flexible option to have them fully upgraded, at any time and cost effectively, in order to meet the latest challenges.

Be default, submarines are designed to operate in challenging environments and their hull must withstand decades of operation. At the same time systems and technologies on-board submarines  require upgrades on a more frequent basis to maintain their operational relevancy.

By cutting the hull of the submarine in two, and having many of the vital systems replaced, Saab can in a cost efficient manner and in a short timeframe, provide AIP submarines ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

Commenting on modifying a submarine, Gunnar Wieslander, Senior Vice President, head of Saab business area Kockums, said:

“Few shipyards around the world have the experience of completely modifying a submarine, creating almost a new ship. We are the only one having completed it twice within 12 months, first with HMS Gotland and now HMS Uppland. If you take into account that smartphones did not even exist when these vessels were launched at the end of the 1990’s, you begin to grasp the huge leap submarine technology has taken during this period and how significant this mid-life upgrade is.”

The updated versions of both Uppland and Gotland are paving the way for the most modern AIP submarine under production today – the Blekinge-class (A26).

The state of the art A26 submarine will have over 20 new systems on-board, which will contribute to the de-risking for the A26. Those systems will also provide great training opportunities for the crew when they deploy onboard the A26 in the future.

The submarine HMS Uppland was originally designed and built by Kockums in Malmö in the early 1990’s while it was commissioned in 1997.

Saab’s mid-life upgrade includes modifications, replacement and upgrades of on-board systems and technologies as well as sustaining the submarine’s operability and ensuring service to Sweden for many years to come.

The upgrade process itself covers many important systems, such as the Stirling AIP, a complete new mast suite, sonars and sensors as well as management and communication systems.

The MLU of Uppland at a glance:

  • Length overall: 62 m
  • Beam: 6,2 m
  • Displacement: 1580 tons (surfaced)
  • Propulsion: Diesel-electric and Stirling AIP
  • Crew: 25
  • The Building Contract: Modifications of two submarines, verification incl. Set to Work (STW), Harbour Acceptance Test (HAT), Sea Acceptance Test (SAT), training, documentation, spares and upgrade of land-based Training Facility
  • Mid-life Upgrade: Submarine is cut open in the mid-tank section, adding a new section to accommodate more equipment.
  • Improved capabilities; Stirling AIP MkIII, Masts, Sensors, Communications and  Special Ops, weapons.
  • Compliant with new rules and regulations: IMO, Security, Crew Comfort
  • End-of-life and obsolescence issues.
  • Experience based improvements

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