Despite spiralling costs, the two Saab A26 submarines are considered strategically important, lacking any realistic alternatives.
The Swedish Armed Forces’ new submarines will be delayed by several years and more than SEK 5 billion ($580 million) more expensive than expected.
The two A26 submarines ordered in 2015 are considered strategically important for the nation’s defence. The news of delay broke after the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) signed a supplementary agreement with submarine producer Saab where the cost of the submarines went up from SEK 8.6 billion ($1 billion) to approximately SEK 14 billion ($1.6 billion). The submarines are not expected to be delivered until 2028 or 2029, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet has reported.
According to FMV, one of the reasons why the agreement has had to be renegotiated is due to additional equipment such as stealth technology and torpedoes. The authority also cited the condition of the shipyard in Karlskrona that will produce the submarines as being overestimated.
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist assured that the project is of paramount importance and should continue despite cost increases and delays.
According to Hulqvist, the cost increases will be covered by the defence budget negotiated in 2020 and will not hamstring other branches of the military. By contrast, the Liberals, who supported the government’s recent defence budget, are sceptical.
At the same time, the National Audit Office in its recent…