The British and Swedish defence suppliers, Babcock and Saab, have signed a strategic agreement on 12 September, the opening day of the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) 2023 exhibition.

Both companies will work together, leveraging each other’s various product solutions, to enable the delivery of enhanced capabilities to customers around the world.

Saab has already made headway in global tech markets in the last month, having acquired the British artificial intelligence (AI) systems start-up Bluebear.

Bluebear participated in an AUKUS-led AI solutions demonstration, which tells us that Saab have begun to expand its solutions-focus to an era of defence in which the integration of new and emerging capabilities is paramount.

Designing a next-gen corvette

Additionally, both companies will also explore the development of the design of a new advanced corvette of around 100 metres.

Given Saab’s solutions-focus strategy, we can expect the corvette design to incorporate such emerging technologies.

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The joint development will also benefit from Babcock’s expertise in platform design and integration to create a new class-leading capability, and Saab’s expertise in naval Combat Management Systems and composite structures.

The new corvette will be a highly capable and adaptable surface combatant aimed at meeting the needs of international customers. Babcock and Saab intend to jointly market the new design to worldwide export markets.

Babcock CEO, David Lockwood, said: “This is the beginning of an exciting new relationship between Babcock and Saab. It recognises the potential to jointly offer a wider range of integrated solutions to international customers and builds on the strong cultural and technical links between the two Groups.”

Europe’s naval vessels and surface combatants market is worth $10bn in 2023. GlobalData projects a compound annual growth rate of 4.3% to reach $15.3bn by 2033, driven by the constant rise in the defence spending of Russia, the UK, Italy, Germany, and France on the procurement of naval vessels to replace their ageing fleets. GlobalData intelligence tell us that corvettes will be the third largest segment in Europe with a 15.3% share of the market.