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New Swedish SIGINT ship starts sea trials

Artemis is pictured on sea trials. (Saab)

Sweden's new signals intelligence (SIGINT) vessel, the future HSwMS Artemis (A 202), has started sea trials from Saab Kockums' shipyard in Karlskrona.

Saab was awarded a contract to design and build the new SIGINT ship by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in 2017. It is intended to replace the Royal Swedish Navy's (RSwN's) intelligence-gathering vessel, HSwMS Orion (A 201), which was built in the early 1980s.

Under subcontract to Saab, Nauta Shiprepair Yard, part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), started construction on the ship at its yard in Gdynia, Poland, in 2018. The vessel was launched in April 2019, and under original planning was expected to be commissioned in 2020. However, after the shipyard ran into financial difficulties, the contract was later terminated and the incomplete hull was towed to Sweden in February 2021 to be completed by Kockums.

With a full load displacement of 2,300 tonne, an overall length of 74 m, a 14 m beam, and a 3.9 m draft, Artemis is significantly larger than Orion , which displaces 1,400 tonne, and has an overall length of 11.7 m. According to Saab, the new ship “is more advanced in every respect” than its predecessor, with enhancements including improved electromagnetic compatibility characteristics, increased operational reliability, and improved working and living environments for personnel onboard.

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