The Swedish-Dutch agreement also reflects solid state backing for Saab’s central goal to build a strong and competitive underwater naval capacity around its rapidly expanding Saab Kockums underwater division.
The long-term goal in Saab’s expansionist plan takes the development of the next-generation Gripen fighter jet as its base model. The core objective is to strengthen Sweden’s ability to design and export advanced submarines and auxiliary solutions through strategic industrial partnerships that offer cost-sharing in areas such as development and maintenance.
Significantly, the Swedish government’s backing for Saab’s expansion into the submarine and naval vessel segment is supported by FMV (Försvarets Materielverk), the Swedish defense materials supply organization.
FMV will remain a pivotal force within Saab’s long-term global ambitions. The company owns the proprietary rights to key advanced submarine technologies, including those connected to Saab’s development of the Swedish Navy’s new A-26 submarine.
The Saab-Damen teaming deal’s focus — to join forces in pursuit of the Dutch Navy’s Walrus-class submarine replacement project and similar naval program opportunities globally — has particularly piqued FMV’s interest.
The Netherlands is set to replace the 2,756 long-ton, life-extended Walrus subs, which entered service in the 1990s, after 2025.
The FMV sees advantages for Sweden in finding industrial partnerships that can lead to the sharing of development and maintenance costs in respect of the Saab Kockums-run A-26 submarine program, said Lena Erixon, the FMV’s director general.