The keel-laying ceremony for the new Swedish signals intelligence ship took place June 15th at the Naval Shipyard, located in Gdynia, Poland. The event was attended by representatives from Saab, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and invited guests.
Saab was awarded the contract to design and build the ship, which will replace the Swedish Navy’s existing H(SW)MS Orion, by the Swedish Material Defence Administration FMV in 2017. Subsequently it selected Nauta Shiprepair Yard, belonging to PGZ Group, to perform the construction, launch and early sea trials of the vessel. Cooperation in ship construction between Saab and PGZ is a direct result of the agreement, signed in late 2016, to establish a close partnership between Saab and PGZ in the planning and delivery of naval programs.
“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 Naval Shipyard, our partner in this project,” explained Gunnar Wieslander, Senior Vice President and head of Saab Business Area Kockums.
“The keel-laying ceremony was an important event in this special shipbuilding project, and we are pleased to celebrate it with our Swedish partners. We know the special purpose vessel is very important for the Swedish Navy and we are treating the construction as a high priority undertaking,” said Marcin Dąbrowski, Chairman of the Management Board, Nauta Shiprepair Yard.
The steel cutting for the ship took place in March 2018. Before the ship is delivered to the Swedish Navy, it will undergo final sea trials and installation of equipment with Saab Kockums in Karlskrona. The new ship, which will replace HSwMS Orion launched in 1984, will be 74 meters long with a displacement of 2,200 tonnes.