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Sweden Unveils Model of Its First Submarine With Tomahawk Missile Capability

Sputnik News

17:37 19.05.2017(updated 17:59 19.05.2017)

Sweden's Saab aerospace and defense company has unveiled its first conventional diesel-electric-powered submarine designed for using the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM). The model was demonstrated at the IMDEX Asia 2017 show in Singapore.

Sweden's Saab has displayed a model of its A26 conventional diesel-electric-powered submarine (SSK) which has been designed with the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile capability (TLAM). The model was demonstrated at the IMDEX Asia 2017 maritime defense exhibition and conference, which wrapped up in Singapore on Thursday.

This is the first time when a conventional submarine will carry the subsonic cruise missiles, according to Shephard Media website, which covered the show.

Existing boats that have TLAM, the US Navy and UK Royal Navy submarines, are all nuclear-powered (SSN).

The submarine will be equipped with a 10m section containing three vertical launch missile tubes, each containing six missiles.

The only other land attack capability that is fitted to conventional submarines, the website says, has had to be through missiles fired through the torpedo tubes.

"It is no small feat to install a vertical launch land attack capability onto an SSK, but the modular design means that a 10m section can be relatively easily installed. The modular section could also instead contain more batteries or AIP (air-independent propulsion system) depending on the customer requirements," it further explains.

The Swedish company has reportedly received interest from a number of countries, which want a land attack capability in a smaller conventional submarine, but would not disclose their names.

The experts however suggested that Poland could be among the potential buyers as it fits a number of existing restrictions.

"Naturally, the country would have to be a close US ally due to the restrictions in the sale of cruise missiles. Most countries that could procure an A26 of this type either would not be allowed to buy TLAM or have already selected other submarine designs for their sub-surface capability," the website explains.

Poland "has close relations with Sweden, and is also a close ally of the US being a part of NATO," it says.

Warsaw is considering acquiring three submarines from 2023, with Saab bidding alongside French DCNS Arms industry company and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany.

In March 2015, Saab signed a contract to build two A26-class submarines for the Swedish Navy in a deal worth SEK 7.6 billion (US $862.4 million), with the first delivery in 2022 and the second in 2024.

The new submarine project was intended to be an improved version of the Gotland class, which was considered obsolete around 2015-17 according to Per Skantz, development co-ordinator at the Marine headquarters in Stockholm.

In its standard variant the submarine would displace 1,900 tones and have a crew complement of between 17 and 31 men.


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