Forecast International, STOCKHOLM: The Swedish government has decided to equip its five Visby class corvettes with the South African Umkhonto-IR SAM system at a total cost of about 1 billion SEK ($148.5 million). 
 
This system is capable of engaging up to 8 targets and has a range of 12 km. Finland has also bought the system for its Hamina class missile boats and Hämeenmaa minelayers. The deal has yet to be approved by the Swedish parliament. 
 
This is about the only good news for the Visbys. Earlier this year, it was decided that the new 127 mm ALECTO ASW rocket system (with two trainable sextuple launchers) will not be installed on Visby, and that the development of this system has been stopped. 
 
Furthermore, the Visby class corvettes will be equipped with 100 km RBS 15 Mk2 surface-to-surface missiles instead of the latest 200 km Mk3 missiles. The Mk2 version has been in service in the Royal Swedish Navy (on board corvettes and missile boats) since 1998, and are really only updated Mk1 missiles. 
 
Finally, Sweden has dropped plans to include an integrated hull hangar on board the Visby class. Since the designed hangar was too small for the planned A-109 HKP-15SBO helicopter, substantial modifications to those helicopters, including the modification and shortening of the tail was necessary. 
 
Since the Visbys will be restricted to refuelling helicopters on the open fantail, this modification will no longer be needed. 
 
This raises the possibility that the order for the Ship Based Operations variant of the HKP-15 will be cancelled in favor of additional land-based helicopters.