UDT 2018: Gotland submarine relaunched after mid-life upgrade
The lead boat of the Royal Swedish Navy's Gotland submarine fleet has taken to the water again after an extensive mid-life upgrade programme which saw the addition of some technologies and capabilities that will also feature on the future A26 boats currently under construction.
Designed and built by Kockums in Malmö in the early 1990’s and commissioned in 1996, Gotland’s modifications consist of upgrades to onboard systems that are intended to ensure service to Sweden beyond 2025.
The installation of Stirling air independent propulsion (AIP) will increase the boat’s subsurface endurance, while the traditional optical periscope has been replaced with a new optronic mast.
Optronic masts allow for a single surface check to generate multiple images for analysis by the crew, a marked change from the classic periscope.
‘The relaunch of Gotland is an important milestone in the evolutionary development of Swedish submarines,’ said Gunnar Wieslander, senior VP, head of business area Kockums at Saab, in a statement.
‘After a comprehensive upgrade, integrating the latest generation of important systems such as the Stirling engine, modern sensors and new management functions, Gotland is almost a new submarine, ready to take on missions around the world.’
More than 20 systems onboard the new Gotland-class will be implemented in the A26. After undertaking sea trials Gotland will be returned to service.