A new intelligence vessel built by Saab Kockums on behalf of the Swedish military has been launched in the Baltic Sea, the daily newspaper Expressen reported.
On Wednesday, the 74-metre-long, 14-metre-wide spy ship was officially named the HMS Artemis, after the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. The ship was built by Saab Kockum's subcontractor Nauta Shipyard in Gdynia Poland, which is part of the Polish defence group PGZ.
"The Swedish Armed Forces and the Navy, together with the National Defence Radio Establishment, will receive a qualified and modern signals intelligence vessel that will increase their capacities," Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) Director General Göran Mårtensson said.
Mårtensson described the HMS Artemis as "long-awaited" amid a great need for a new SIGNIT vessel. Its predecessor, the HMS Orion, had been operating for 35 years.
"Compared with the HMS Orion, which was launched in 1984, its replacement has a great technical edge and also an improved working and living environment on board, increased operational reliability and improved electromagnetic compatibility properties, that is how the equipment in the vessel affects other surrounding electronic equipment and how sensitive the equipment is for external electronic interference", FMV's project manager Peter Andersson said.
The exact equipment available at the HMS Artemis remains a "top secret". Offshore reconnaissance remains, however, were described as a priority, as naval vessels may get closer to the source and pick up even weak signals.
The Swedish Royal Navy is composed of surface and submarine naval units (the Royal Fleet), as well as marine units (the Amphibious Corps). Its only naval base is Karlskrona in the Blekinge archipelago. The city with 35,000 inhabitants was founded in 1680 specifically as a naval base for its well-sheltered and ice-free location, as well as proximity to Sweden's former arch-enemy Denmark. Karlskrona's shipyard has long been Sweden's largest industrial employer.