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Saab Lays Keel Of First A26 Blekinge-Class Submarine

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Saab Lays Keel of First A26 Blekinge-class Submarine
The first two (aft) sections during the keel laying ceremony. SAAB picture.

Saab Lays Keel Of First A26 Blekinge-Class Submarine​

The Keel laying ceremony for HMS Blekinge took place on 30 June 2022 at Saab Kockums’ shipyard in Karlskrona, Southern Sweden. Blekinge is the first of two A26 type submarines on order for the Royal Swedish Navy.​

Xavier Vavasseur 01 Jul 2022

During the ceremony the first hull sections (two large aft sections) were placed next to another ahead of their welding. The ceremony marking an important milestone for the program was attended by Veronica Wåtz the A26 project manager at FMV, the head of Naval Programs at FMV, Patric Hjorth, Saab Kockum’s CEO Lars Tossman, Swedish Navy Commander Fredrik Lindén, commander of the First Submarine Flotilla…

The ceremony took place exactly 5 years after Sweden ordered two new submarines, known at the time as A26.
This shows that the work with the next generation of submarines is progressing and is in phase.

Veronica Wåtz, A26 project manager at FMV
Saab Lays Keel of First A26 Blekinge-class Submarine 2
SAAB picture
“The submarine competence places Sweden among one of few nations in the world with the capability to build modern and advanced submarines. The ceremony is not only a milestone for HMS Blekinge, it is also proof that Sweden has regained the capability. We are looking forward to when her sister HMS Skåne will follow in her tracks”

Micael Johansson, President and CEO Saab.

According to the FMV, the next generation submarine of the Blekinge class is currently being built at Saab Kockum’s shipyard in Karlskrona. These are two submarines that are manufactured in five main sections. At Thursday’s keel laying ceremony, the first two main sections of the first submarine, HMS Blekinge, were placed next to each other to be joined.

HMS Blekinge is expected to be delivered to the Swedish Navy in 2027 while the second submarine, HMS Skane, is set to be delivered in 2028.

About A26/Blekinge-class submarines​

A26-Blekinge-class-submarines
A rendering of the Saab Kockums A26-type submarine (Credit: Saab Kockums)

The A26 program was finally launched in 2015 after FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration) placed an order for two new generation submarines for the Royal Swedish Navy. Based on the plans initially laid out under Kockums supervision, Saab’s engineers in Malmö and Karlskrona worked intensively on the boat’s design. Saab received in August 2021 a further order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) to continue the development and production, as well as expand the capabilities, of the two submarines.

The Blekinge-class is a 65m long modern submarine with a surfaced displacement of 2,000 tonnes. Equipped with a Stirling AIP, it can dive for more than 18 days. Its standard complement consists in 26 sailors. The class can accommodate up to 35 sailors (commandos and passenger included).

For Saab, the Blekinge-class can be seen as the baseline A26, and is proposed in the international market as the A26 Oceanic. Slightly larger than the previous Gotland-class, the Blekinge will be able to navigate and fight in both coastal and blue waters. For navies with a focus on littoral operations, Saab proposes the A26 Pelagic, a smaller variant with a length of 50m and a surfaced displacement of 1,000 tonnes, which still features an AIP module. The A26 Oceanic Extended Range, on the other hand, is a stretched version of the Blekinge-class with a 3,000 tonnes displacement and capable to carry up to 50 persons.

Blekinge-class main specifications:
Length: 66,1 m
Beam: 6,75 m
Deplacement: 1 925 tons
Propulsion: 3 Diesel- and 3 Stirling engines
Complement: 17-26, maximum 35
Armament: Torpedos, mines, AUV, ROV, MSF

 

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