Two of the Visby corvettes, HMS Helsingborg and HMS Harnosand, are now operational with the Royal Swedish Navy, as part of the Third Naval Warfare Flotilla, based in Karlskrona. Built by Kockums, they significantly enhance the Swedish Navy’s capability.
“With their stealth technology, the Visby corvettes are the right concept for the future, given the environment in which we shall be operating, namely the littoral zone. The ships will form the core of the Swedish Navy for years to come. And they have attracted considerable international interest,” states Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad, Inspector General of the Royal Swedish Navy.
The ships are built for service with Sweden’s rapid reaction force, designed primarily to operate in the Baltic, although also on international missions in the littoral zone. Featuring full stealth capabilities, these vessels are difficult to detect either with radar or other sophisticated detection technologies, offering numerous tactical advantages. They are constructed of carbon fibre.
It is also possible to exit the stealth mode, perhaps on an international mission where a temporary need to demonstrate some military muscle arises, after which the ship can ‘disappear’ again. The Swedish Navy has always operated in the littoral zone, an area in which it is specialised. Similar coastal waters exist in all parts of the world, of course, precisely those areas where maritime traffic is most intense.
The Visby concept has generated a lot of attention, and naval experts the world over are following developments with keen interest.