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A24 Viking

The Viking next-generation submarine program was a joint Scandinavian development initially involving Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The Viking submarine program maintained a high profile as a rare example of pan-Nordic defense collaboration. Established in the mid-1990s, it aimed to develop a 'commonalized' and affordable new-generation submarine design to meet the submarine replacement requirements of the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish navies, each of which originally foresaw a requirement for four boats. (Sweden subsequently cut back its requirement to two submarines.)

The Viking project sought to develop the next submarine generation and constituted a technological step. The classical properties of submarines, such as stealth and endurance, are improved while adoptions are made to the future battle space and new ways of war fighting. The general purpose of the Viking co-operation was firstly the common and cost-efficient development and construction of six submarines (four for Denmark and two for Sweden) and secondly the cost-reducing co-operation, concerning for example maintenance, training and upgrades, during the lifetime of the submarines.

Displacement 1 100 - 1 700 tons
Length 50 - 60 m
Beam 6-7 m
Propulsion Stirling AIP and diesel-electric
Crew 20 - 30
The basis for the new Viking Project was a framework agreement of 1994, between the three nations' defence ministers, calling for cooperation in the field of defence materials. The Viking submarine was the outcome of a feasibility study and conceptual design conducted by Kockums for the Viking Project Group. The mission was to develop a submarine concept that combined and integrated the operational requirements of several different nations, while also meeting joint performance and cost-efficiency demands. The winning concept was a modular design and construction techniques, which give the submarine increased flexibility, specially in the area of flexible payload and consequently being adaptable for new types of mission.

Utilising Kockums advanced modular construction techniques, the Viking submarine design incorporated substantial advances in stealth technology. The Combat Management System suite features state-of-the-art C4I (Command, Control, Computer, Communication and Intelligence) functionality. Specially enhanced communication with much more Net Centric Warfare capabilities. Improved AIP performance will enable the submarine to remain submerged for greatly extended periods of time, invaluable in peacetime or conflict scenarios. From a full suit of improved sensors with optimised shape in combination with extremely sophisticated signature adaption and management systems.

The cost-efficiency was maximised through optimal division of work among authorities and industries in Sweden and Denmark. The project was based on very close co-operation between industries in Denmark and Sweden and the possibilities this creates. Kockums AB in Sweden will be the main contractor for PDP2 using Odense Staalskibsvaerft A/S in Denmark as sub-contractor. Other Danish and Swedish industries will be given good opportunities to compete with the world market.

A new company, the Viking Submarine Corporation, was established. This would also design the new submarine. Viking was a corporation jointly established by Kockums in Sweden, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in Norway and Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark. Finland was an observer of the Viking project, as an eventual future buyer of additional Viking submarines. FMV was responsible for the execution of the project. The project existed within FMV lead by a Swedish Program Manager, but was manned by SMK and FMV. A project office in Malm÷ would manage the contacts with Kockums. SMK concentrated a large part of its submarine expertise to this office. Kockums was a partner in the Viking Project to supply and install AIP systems for ten submarines from Scandinavian countries. The AIP was based on Kockums 75-kW 4-275 Stirling engine

By mid 1996 doubts were growing about the Viking next-generation submarine program. Finland had pulled out and Sweden and Denmark arehaving difficulties in harmonizing their staff requirement with that of Norway. Sweden, Denmark and Norway were to decide by the end of 1996 whether to proceed with the proposed joint program for a commonalized submarine entering service between 2005-10.

Finland, which had an observer status and was considering taking over two ex-Swedish Navy Sjoormen class submarines, abandoned its submarine ambitions because of the high cost of its F-18 fighter program. Studies to harmonize the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian staff requirements so far had led to Sweden and Denmark getting "very close to a common requirement". However, there were major differences with Norway's needs. Denmark and Sweden are littoral operators while Norway had a blue water emphasis. Norwegian operations feature much longer transit distances. But it appeared that the differences in the national requirementswill not drive the cost up much.

Sweden was keen for Viking to go ahead: it regarded the Nordic program as vital to propel its submarine industry, particularly Kockums Submarine Systems, into the 21st century. Yet, the German Submarine Consortium was already wooing Norway and Denmark with the Type 212 submarine which had been selected by Germany and Italy in late 1995. Privately, Swedish industry officials at Kockums said that the Nordic Viking program may be replaced by a wider European collaborative project, involving either the German or the French submarine industry.

Kongsberg Defence Systems, the Norwegian company, planned to offer an evolved version of its MSI90U command and weapon controlsystem (CWCS) to the Project Viking program for a new generation of submarine. Senior Norwegian industry officials said that if Denmark, Norway andSweden go ahead with the common new generation submarine project, all three countries should equip their boats with the Norwegiancompany's CWCS. The company was also under contract to supply its CWCS to the German Navy's four new Type U212 submarines under a German-Norwegian MoU, and was "well positioned" to also be selected for Italy's two Type 212s.

1999 plan for the Viking program
Study-Concept Phase1997-1999
Project Definition Phase2000-2002
Design and Production Phase2002-2014
Launch of first submarine2007
In February 1999 industrial representatives from Denmark, Norway and Sweden have formed an industrial consortium aimed at collaborating on the Viking submarine project. The companies - Danyard Aalborg AS (Denmark), Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace AS (Norway) and Celsius (Sweden) - agreed to co-ordinate the development of a next-generation submarine for their respective navies. By creating the group, defence ministers in all three countries hope to contain military spending through joint defense procurement.

The Viking project was based on the Framework Agreement concerning Nordic Armaments co-operation signed by the Nordic defence ministers 07 November 2000. On 20 December 2000 Denmark, Norway and Sweden signed an agreement to proceed with the Step 1 Project Definition Phase (PDP) of the collaborative Project Viking diesel-electric patrol submarine program. The accord, signed in Copenhagen by admirals from the Danish Naval Materiel Command, Naval Materiel Command Norway and Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration, released new funding for the pan-Nordic project.

In early 2002 the Norwegian government confirmed its intention to withdraw from the Viking program intended to develop a common submarine for Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The government indicated in mid-2001 during development of the 2002-05 defence plan that funds may not be available for the project. This was confirmed when Defence Minister Kristin Krohn Devold submitted the implementation proposal for the defence plan to Parliament on 05 April 2002.

In June 2002 a new and important chapter in the program began, with the start of industry-led project definition studies. This two-stage activity was intended to inform the partner governments on the cost (acquisition and through-life), risk, technical and industrial implications of a collaborative program, thereby allowing them to make a decision in 2005 on whether to proceed into a joint design and construction phase.

By May 2003 the Scandinavian Viking project was entering a new phase. Part 1 of 2 in the ongoing Project Definition Phase was ending. The Viking Project proceeds as Sweden and Denmark entered the Project Definition Phase part 2 (PDP2) through a co-operation agreement between The Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in Sweden and the Danish Naval Materiel Command (SMK). PDP2 was to be concluded in the end of 2004. Norway and Finland will take part as observers. The objective for PDP2 was to develop a balanced technical and economical basis for decision on execution of the following phases. Preparation for design and construction was also included.

Norway formally withdrew from the 'Viking' submarine project on 13 June 2003 at the end of the Project Definition Phase Step 1. Studies into the replacement of the current submarine capability from about 2020 were launched in late 2007. Following initial conceptual work, a more detailed project definition study was expected to start in 2010. Options include upgrading the present fleet of submarines, replacement (possibly with the Swedish NGS) or abandonment of the capability altogether.

In June 2004 the Danish parliament decided to stop operating submarines in Denmark altogether, effectively terminating the country's involvement with the Viking program as well. Following termination of Project Viking, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) was assigned the task of initiating preliminary planning for a submarine Type A26.

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Page last modified: 06-04-2016 19:49:59 ZULU