Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union had the largest fleet of submarines in the world, as well as the largest in the world’s marine history. Today, the Russian navy is a shell of its former self, but its submarines are still considered capable and this is a fact that has troubled NATO leaders for several years. Soon, however, the international alliance will have another member state that will help counter Russia’s submarine force – namely Sweden.
It was announced at the end of June that Sweden, together with Finland, had been formally invited to join NATOand that news coincided with the word that a keeling ceremony held for HSE Blekingethe first two of two A26-type submarines now ordered for the Royal Navy.
“The submarine competence places Sweden among one of the few nations in the world with the ability to build modern and advanced submarines.” in Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab, the main contractor on the A26 program. “The ceremony is not just a milestone for HSE Blekinge, it is also proof that Sweden has regained the ability. We look forward to when her sister HMS Skåne will follow in her footsteps. ”
The cooling laying ceremony for HSwMS Blekinge happened at Saab’s shipyard in Karlskrona. Representatives from the Swedish Navy were present.
The A26 program was formally launched in 2015 after FMV (Swedish Defense Materiel Administration) placed an order for two new generation submarines for the Royal Navy. Each and everyone of Blekinge class the boats will be 65 meters long and the modern submarines will have a displacement on the surface of 2,000 tons (2,200 tons). The boats will be equipped with a Stirling AIP, and can dive for more than 18 days. The standard complement will reportedly consist of 26 sailors but can accommodate up to 35 sailors including commandos and other passengers.
HMS Blekinge is expected to be delivered to the Swedish Navy in 2027 while the other submarine, HMS Skånewill be delivered in 2028.
Stockholm’s Sub Force
Beyond Blekinge-class boats that will eventually come into service at the end of the decade, Sweden currently has three Gotlandclass submarines, which were built between 1992 and 1997. Stockholm is currently implementing modernization efforts for mid-life upgrade (MLU). on class submarines, which will extend the life of these vessels. It was the first operational submarine class in the world to use air-independent propulsion in the form of Stirling engines that use liquid oxygen and diesel as fuel.
The Royal Navy continues to operate two of the original four submarines of Västergötland class dates from the 1980s, while two others were sold to Singapore. Two other submarines were also launched as part of Västergötlandclass, but has since been relaunched after an extensive modernization in 2003 and 2004 as Södermanland class. HSwMS Södermanland (Sweet) and HSwMS Östergötland (Eye) is expected to remain in service at least until Blekingeclass are ordered.
All of Sweden’s submarines will probably play an important role in counteracting Russian aggression in the Baltic Sea, which will soon be a NATO-controlled lake.
Now the senior editor of 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based author who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He writes regularly about military hardware, firearms history, cyber security and international affairs. Peter is also one Contributing author for Forbes.