The Swedish Navy has laid the keel for its new special-purpose signal intelligence (SIGINT) ship during a ceremony at the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) Stocznia Wojenna shipyard in Gdynia, Poland.
The 74m-long SIGINT ship has a displacement of 2,200t and has been specially designed to replace the Swedish Navy’s existing signals intelligence-gathering vessel, HSwMS Orion, which was originally launched in 1984.
Saab was awarded a Skr730m ($82.79m) contract by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the design, construction and delivery of the SIGINT vessel in April last year.
Poland-based Nauta Shiprepair Yard, a part of the PGZ Group, was selected by Saab later the same month to carry out the ship’s construction, launch and early sea trials.
Saab and PGZ previously entered a partnership agreement for the planning and delivery of naval programmes in late-2016.
Saab Kockums head Gunnar Wieslander said: “Special-purpose ships are primarily used for the interception and analysis of radio-transmitted signals and need to be highly reliable and available.
“Therefore you need highly skilled shipbuilders to build this kind of ship.
“We are very pleased with the progress of the construction process, and it was a pleasure to attend the keel-laying ceremony at the Nauta Shiprepair Yard, our partner in this project.”
The Nauta Shiprepair Yard cut the first steel for the SIGINT vessel on 1 March, which officially commenced the construction phase of the Swedish Navy ship.
Saab Kockums in Karlskrona is expected to conduct the final sea trials and installation of the special-purpose ship’s equipment prior to its delivery to the Swedish Navy.