Saab has officially started the construction of Swedish Navy's A26 next-generation submarine, following a steel-cutting ceremony held at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona, Sweden.
Claimed to be the world's most modern submarine programme, the new A26 will be capable of operating in all oceans and across a broad spectrum of conflict environments.
In addition to the load of mines and torpedoes, the new submarine will be equipped with missiles.
Saab business unit Saab Kockums head Gunnar Wieslander said: "The A26 is a new standard bearer; a step forward in the Swedish tradition of modular design and building, it ensures maximum operational effectiveness with a lower lifecycle cost.
"With the A26 you can always adapt the submarine to the mission in hand. Now that production has started it is a clear signal to other potential customers around the world that Saab is ready to deliver to them as well."
With its multi-mission portal, the vessel will be able to launch and retrieve diverse mission payloads, such as manned and unmanned vehicles.
Powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery, A26 will also feature the Kockums Stirlingair-independent propulsion (AIP) system, which allows the submarine to be stealthy and difficult to detect.
In June, Saab signed contracts worth Skr7.6bn ($919.01m) with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to deliver two new Type A26 submarines.
The delivery of the new submarines is expected to commence in 2022 and will be completed in 2024.
In addition, Saab secured a contract to perform a mid-life upgrade on two of Sweden's existing Gotland-class submarines, including an overhaul and upgrade of the combat system to a total order value of Skr2.1bn ($252.23m).
The delivery of the upgraded submarines is scheduled for in late 2018 and late 2019, respectively.
Image: The A26 steel-cutting ceremony held at Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of Saab AB.