Sweden has committed SEK8.6 billion towards improving her underwater security with the signing of separate contracts for the design, build and support of two Type A26 submarines and the mid-life upgrade of two existing Gotland class submarines for the Svenska Marinen.

The A26 was originally conceived as the Viking class, part of a Scandinavian project intended to produce a boat optimised for the littoral environment with secondary open ocean capabilities. But Denmark subsequently ceased submarine operations altogether in 2004 and the joint project ended.

The current iteration is being lauded by SAAB Kockums as one of the world’s quietest submarines. The 1,800-tonne vessels will feature the latest version of the Stirling Air-Independent Propulsion system along with so-called GHOST (Genuine HOlistic STealth) technology – essentially the extensive use of rubber mountings and acoustic dampening throughout – while the fin will be made of the same carbon fibre material used to build the Visby class corvettes.

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