Swedish Navy's first Visby-class corvette HMS Visby

The Swedish Navy’s first Visby-class corvette HMS Visby has sailed off from dry-dock at Karlskrona, Sweden after completing a refit programme.

The frigate has been upgraded from version 4 to 5 with a total of 63 different installations acoustic insulation including cabins for new weapons systems and equipment for anti-submarine warfare.

Swedish Defence Procurement Agency (FMV) Visby corvettes project manager Anders Nilsson said that renovations and upgrades were necessary to create conditions for the functions that ships should be in version 5 and are currently deploying new systems on board.

"You could say that the upgrade to version 5 of the main features functions for surface warfare and mine clearance, and further adaptation to international activities," Nilsson added.

The upgrades include the qualification of Robot 15 anti-ship missiles, equipment for landing and refuelling of helicopters, equipment for mine hunting and mine destruction, additional weapons, the HF 2000 radio system, and additional sensors.

Designed for mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the 72m-long Visby-class ships features a suite of ASW equipment, 127mm rocket-powered grenade launchers, depth charges and torpedoes.

The lead ship of the class, Visby (K31) was delivered to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in June 2002, while the second and third HMS Helsingborg (K32) and Harnosand (K33) were officially delivered in June 2006.

The fourth Nykoping (K34) vessel was delivered in September 2006 and the fifth Karlstad (K35) ship was launched in August 2006.

The last vessel will be used to support attack and anti-surface warfare operations while the Swedish Navy is scheduled to receive all five modernised ships by 2014.

Materials and construction techniques have been developed in collaboration with FMV, Kockums and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.

Image: HMS Visby (K31) is the Swedish Navy’s lead ship of the five Visby-class corvettes. Photo: Jelly.