The Swedish Navy has awarded a contract to Kockums for the service life extension of HMS Orion, a signals intelligence gathering vessel, which operates mainly in the Baltic.

Refit work under the contract will begin in dry dock before the ship is moved to the hull construction hall where the work will be completed.

Following the refit work, HMS Orion is expected join the navy service during the spring of 2010.

The contract has been awarded by the Swedish Defence Matériel Administration (FMV) and the Karlskrona Naval Base.

The Swedish Navy is planning to replace the signal intelligence vessel with a new vessel but will keep the Orion in service with Sweden’s surveillance force until the new ship arrives.