HMS Helsingborg and HMS Härnösand are the first two corvettes in the Visby series delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces to be included in the organization and ready for missions.
FMV handed over the two ships to the Armed Forces at a ceremony in Karlskrona on December 16.
“It’s satisfying that we now can hand over the ships in a version where, after the training of the crew, they will be able to go into the organization and be available for operations, “says Mats Elofsson, project manager for the project Visby at FMV.
The series of five Visby corvettes are high-tech ships. They are designed to have the ability to operate in several areas, such as demining, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, maritime surveillance and maritime security and in international operations, but also to provide support to the society for example when there are accidents at sea.
The vessels are built in plastic laminate, a material that makes the ship very strong and resilient in relation to their weight. The material is one of the factors that gives the vessels very low signature levels, in terms of radar, magnetic and hydro-acoustic. This makes them difficult to detect on radar and infrared camera. At the same time the vessels can withstand shock effects very well and they can also take a big load.
The vessels has been equipped to be able to cooperate with other parts of the Armed Forces that occur in the maritime area, such as the air force, coast guard, civil protection, customs, police and civilian shipping. The Visby corvettes will also be able to behave in particular as a good management of resources for long-term efforts at sea.
The Visby corvette type is the first ship drawn up with all these skills together in a single hull. The project has faced several major challenges.
“To succeed, we have forced several technical barriers. The main challenges have been in three areas: surface vessels in composite materials, extremely low signatures and integration of sensors for a common situation picture. This technical complexity of the development project Visby has contributed to delays in delivery of the vessels, “says Mats Elofsson.
The two ships which are now handed over is equipped with over-water and underwater sensors and are in this version (version four) able to be operational in a number of national and international tasks.
When the first Visby corvettes will be delivered in version five in 2012, there will be trained crews available. The ships have since been supplemented by including mine clearance systems, helicopter landing capability, anti-surface ship missile and additional stealth adaption.
Most of the technology in the Visby corvette is developed in Sweden in cooperation between the Armed Forces, the Defense Materiel Administration (FMV), the Defense Research Agency (FOI), Swedish and foreign defence industries and universities.