Defence company Saab has received a SKr 1.5 billion order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). The new lightweight torpedo system, which has been ordered for the Swedish Navy, will be able to be used by submarines, surface vessels and helicopters.
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist (S) says, “This means that a project that was significantly delayed finally looks like it will be realised.” The system is expected to be complete and ready to go into service around 2022-2023.
Sweden’s new submarine A26, of which the state has ordered two from defence group Saab, has been harshly criticised. The criticism focuses on a portal, fiercely marketed by Saab, which can release divers and special forces into the water. Former commander and head of the three Swedish Näcken-class submarines, Nils Bruzelius, says that the portal cannot be used in the situations it is designed for.
However Mats Eolfsson, from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), which has paid almost SKr 8 billion for the submarines, has dismissed the criticism saying the portal is flexible and could also be used for new weapons.
With 3,400 employees and an annual turnover of SKr 20 billion, civil authority FMV is something of a colossus. FMV says on its website that it provides the technology for Sweden’s security (ed.); structurally this means that FMV orders military equipment and the Armed Forces pay the bill.
Revelations earlier this week that FMV had failed to hedge an order for 60 Jas Gripen E fighter jets have led to calls that the civil authority should either merge with the Armed Forces or be closed down.
Anders Brännström, army inspector at the Armed Forces’ HQ, and responsible for placing orders with FM, believes a great deal of taxpayers’ money could be saved by such a move.