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HSwMS Artemis

On 22 April 2010 the Government decided that the Armed Forces may acquire a new signal-surveillance vessel [signalspaningsfartyg] as a replacement for the current signal-tensioning vessel, HMS Orion. The new vessel will be built in accordance with international classification rules and procured through open procurement.

"In the new direction for the defense, the local area perspective is clear. The Baltic Sea area is stable. In the long term, however, risk of accidents, military incidents and conflicts of interest can never be ruled out. With today's decision, the Government ensures continued access to ship-borne signal tension in the immediate area", said Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors.

With the acquisition of a new ship with a civilian classification, it will be possible to operate with lower operating and maintenance costs. The vessel will also be able to be used for a long time to come. The current signal surveillance vessel was designed and built in 1984 after the then applicable regulations for a lifetime until 2014. Changes to this regulatory framework and a gradual transition to civil regulations mean that the vessel does not today correspond to today's maritime safety rules. Extensive measures would be required to continue using the vessel.

FMV ordered a replacement for the signal-intercept vessel [spionfartyg or spionskeppet] HMS Orion by Saab AB in April 2017. The ship's tasks, like HMS Orion, consist of intelligence gathering and sea surveillance in the vicinity of Sweden's territory and the Baltic Sea. The vessel will be 71 meters long and will consist of a class-approved steel vessel with a displacement of approximately 2,300 tonnes. Delivery would take place in 2020. The total order value is SEK 730 million. In March 2018 the construction of a new Swedish signal-intercept vessel began. The ship was built on a shipyard in Poland and will replace the current signal-intercept vessel, HMS Orion, which was launched in 1984.

Nauta Shiprepair Yard was the contractor of the platform, launching and carrying out the first sea trials of the ship. PGZ Stocznia Wojenna is a subcontractor of the Nauta shipyard. The Chairman of PGZ Stocznia Wojenna, Konrad Konefal, in his statement for the media, expressed the conviction that “the contract opens a new chapter in the history of the Naval Shipyard”. “The last keel was placed in the shipyard over 10 years ago, so it is such a symbolic moment of a new breath of shipbuilding infrastructure.... Together with the Nauta shipyard, we will build a ship almost entirely, because only specialized devices associated with signal detection, with a cryptography, which is guarded by the Swedish party, will be mounted in Karlskrona".

Signal intercept is one of the armed forces' most important instruments when it comes to acquiring intelligence information. With sophisticated antenna equipment, the crew can intercept and map interesting radio signals that are of utmost importance from a defense point of view. Offshore scanning is particularly important and prioritized because a ship can more easily get closer to the source from the mainland and can pick up signals, even if they are weak. The vessels' ability to last for a longer period of time compared to signal intercept from aircraft is also an advantage.

In the annual report for 2018, the Defense Radio Institute (FRA) shows a picture of how the ship looks. The new ship, which will be equipped with the latest high-tech systems, is both longer and heavier than its predecessor but gives a clear more modern look.

The name was revealed: HMS Artemis, a name that the king has also given its approval in accordance with the tradition that prevails. The launching of HMS Artemis took place a few minutes before 12 o'clock in glorious sunshine and in front of invited guests from, among others, the Polish government, Poland's state defence Company (PGZ) and Saab, and representatives of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). Swedish National Defence Radio Institute (FRA), Embassy of Sweden and invited guests. The new ship will be tested in the port, then the new home port in Karlskrona. In Sweden, the final assembly of the different systems that will be on board is also carried out.

Försvarets radioanstalt (FRA), or the National Defence Radio Establishment as it is officially rendered in English, is the Swedish national authority for signals intelligence. FRA is also engaged in information assurance. On demand, we support government authorities and state owned companies regarding current IT threats as well as general advice to improve security. FRA is a civilian organisation, subordinated to the Ministry of Defence. Funds for 2007 are close to SEK 500 million. Oversight is provided by the Defence Intelligence Commission.

FRA is led by a Director General assisted by a Deputy Director General and central functions for coordination and planning. Since 1 September 2006, the line organisation consists of seven divisions: COMINT, ELINT, Information Assurance, Systems Development, Systems Maintenance, Personnel and Administration. FRA main customers are the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defence, the Military Intelligence And Security Directorate (MUST) and the Security Police.

Fixed sites on Swedish territory are complemented with a SIGINT ship (Orion) operating in the Baltic, and two Gulfstream IV aircraft capable of extended missions. The ship is run by the Swedish Navy and the aircraft by the Air Force, both on behalf of FRA, whose operators are doing the collection.

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Page last modified: 03-05-2019 18:39:00 ZULU