This week, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration signed a contract with MBDA UK Ltd to equip the Visby corvette with the Common Anti-air Modular Missiles (CAMM) surface-to-air missiles. The corvettes will thus be equipped with the ship-based surface-to-air missile system Sea Ceptor.

This is one of the world’s foremost ship-based short-range surface-to-air missile systems. FMV and Saab Kockums will begin the installation at the end of 2025 with planned delivery of the first vessel to the Swedish Armed Forces just over a year later.

With surface-to-air missiles, the Visby-type corvette will have the opportunity to defend a considerably larger area and engage air targets at longer distances. It will thus provide an extended range for the ship’s air defense, compared to the ranges that the weapon systems that the ships have today offer. The last time the Swedish Navy had anti-aircraft missiles was in the 1970s, when it was on board destroyers. Since then, air defense has consisted of cannons combined with active and passive countermeasures, and at Visby also a far-reaching stealth technology.

Ships prepared from the start

The five Visby corvettes are part of the Third and Fourth Naval Flotilla and form the backbone of the Navy’s surface combat capability. They were designed from the outset to have surface-to-air missiles on board, but political decisions were lacking for a long time. Commander Bernt Andersson is Commander of the Third Naval Flotilla, but is also the former Commander of the Visby corvette HMS Karlstad:

“I am very pleased that the corvettes are finally being equipped with surface-to-air missiles. This particular robot has been tried and tested and is already being used by the UK, which is a close partner of Sweden. In addition, it will be a springboard for the next generation of Luleå-class surface combatants, which will be equipped with surface-to-air missiles with even longer range, and then be part of NATO’s air and missile defense.”