New super-submarine for the Swedish Navy

The Swedish Navy will invest in A26 – the new super-submarine – scheduled to be operational in 2018. The submarine will be specially built to operate submerged for several weeks. It has a large lock in the bow with the ability to lock in and out divers and unmanned underwater vehicles without having to surface. This unique feature of A26 will become a universal gateway for many different types of operations avoiding the submarine to be exposed on the surface. SSPA has performed the hydrodynamic investigations for the A26.

The main mission of the A26 is gathering intelligence but with the ability to respond quickly and forcefully to any threat. It will be able to explore the area using remotely operated underwater vehicles and will have a very strong protection against shocks and underwater explosions. These qualities are suitable not only for military operations, but also for tasks like fighting drugs and weapon smugglers.

Under contract with Kockums, SSPA have been developing the hydrodynamics and propeller design of the new Swedish A26 submarine. SSPA have performed the model testing on a scale model that has been manufactured and equipped with propeller, active aft control surfaces and forward hydroplanes. With autopilot engaged, the submarine model is free-sailing.

Model testing will be performed at all three major SSPA facilities:

  • the towing tank
  • the cavitation tank
  • the sea keeping/maneuvering basin

SSPA have investigated the speed-power performance as well as designed the propeller and validated its performance. Further SSPA have developed a virtual maneuvering simulation model of the submarine to test its maneuvering performance, for example turning radius, depth changes and emergency flooding recovery.

SSPA has been involved in hydrodynamic development work for submarines since 1940. During this period SSPA has been involved in development and testing of all classes of Swedish submarines. The work includes model scale and full scale tests amounting to a total of well over 600 studies. SSPA has also performed submarine testing for several other European countries as well as for the Australian Collins class submarines.