Landsort /Koster class mine countermeasures vessel
The "Landsort" class mine countermeasures vessel is built by Swedish shipbuilding company, Kockums (formerly Karlskronavarvet) for the Swedish Navy. The Landsort class, constructed of Glassfibre Reinforced Plastic (GRP), was built at Kockums' Karlskrona shipyard in the early 1980s, and continued play an important role in the Swedish Navy's future organisation. A total of seven Landsort-class MCMVs were built in Karlskrona between the years 1984 and 1992. At that time, these were the Swedish Navy's first truly dedicated mine-countermeasures vessels, while retaining full minesweeping capability. The vessels have since been actively deployed on a range of challenging missions, clearly demonstrating their capabilities.
Since 1995, Swedish Navy MCMVs have cleared 3359 km2(red areas)outside the Baltic States. More than 500 real mines and un-exploded ammunition have been neutralised. Operations have provided valuable experience prior to the upgrade. This period has also seen considerable and rapid technological development. Consequently, the new Koster series, as it will be known, is at the leading edge of naval technology. New combat management systems, surveillance radar and fire-control systems, with new sonar and new Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs), constitute the most important elements of this new concept.
The comprehensive Landsort project was launched at Kockums in Karlskrona in May 2005. Five of the Swedish Navy's mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) were to undergo mid-life upgrades, as well as modification for international missions. The total order was worth more than one billion Swedish kronor. Kockums is principal contractor and will be responsible, among other things, for procurement of command and sonar systems. "We have already had an initial technical meeting, prior to the launch of the project, with our customer FMV (Swedish Defence Matériel Administration) and our subcontractors," says Jörgen Arbholt, who has been appointed project manager.
Intensive efforts were made on the construction side, while the work of removing obsolete equipment started on the first, HMS Koster. HMS Vinga and HMS Ulvön soon followed their sister vessel into the shipyard. Initially, these three vessels were modified to enable participation in the Swedish international rapid reaction force, after which they will undergo a general refit. Later, all five vessels were equipped with new weapon and command systems, new air-defence systems and a remote-operated underwater vehicle (ROV) which possessed a mine-hunting capability, among other features.
HMS Koster and HMS Vinga were handed over to the Royal Swedish Navy in March 2009. HMS Vinga was handed over by the Swedish Defence Matériel Administration (FMV) to the Swedish Armed Forces at an official ceremony in Karlskrona. The modernisation of the vessel has received high praise, both from the crew and from Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad, Inspector General of the Royal Swedish Navy. "We already have a significant international reputation in the mine clearance sector, which is one of our specialities. Several countries speak of our skills in this area. This latest proof will enhance our reputation still further," states Anders Grenstad, with considerable satisfaction.
"The service life of this series of MCMVs, built in the 1980s, will now be extended at least another twenty years. We may even implement a further life extension programme," stated Gunnar Holmgren, director of FMV, during the ceremony. The upgrade carried out by the Kockums team has been comprehensive. This 'Koster' series of vessels has now been upgraded with an onboard air defence system. The vessels are also being equipped with combat management systems and new ROVs that can be deployed for mine clearance. "It is naturally always satisfying to see our products finally handed over to the end-user, and it is a very special feeling to be able to participate in a ceremony of this kind," says Pär Lilja, project manager at Kockums.
The Koster-class MCMVs are part of a series of vessels launched at Karlskronavarvet during the 1980s. They were modified in the beginning of the 2000s to add new capabilities, including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Along with traditional mine-hunting, sweeping and clearance tasks, the vessels can also assist in anti-submarine operations.
On 04 July 2016 defense and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) to modify and upgrade two Swedish Navy Koster-class mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs). The order covers the period 2016-2017 and the order value amounts to SEK147 million. Work on the vessels will be undertaken in Karlskrona. Saab will upgrade and modify of two of Sweden’s Koster-class MCMVs. The contract includes options for additional orders in 2017-2018 amounting to a further SEK139 million, if exercised. The contract covers mission system modifications and upgrades, upgrade of the propulsion system plus modernisation of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) detection and protection capabilities. “Sweden is a world leader in mine countermeasures. We have a long tradition of constructing mine countermeasures vessels with glass fibre hulls. This material not only gives excellent operational capabilities but also provides high availability and low lifecycle costs,” said Gunnar Wieslander, head of Saab business unit Saab Kockums.
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