HSwMS Visby (K31) Stealth Corvette
While six of the Visby-class were originally ordered by the Swedish Navy, only five were completed.
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Corvettes date as far back as the "Age of Sail" where their speed, agility and modest firepower were put to excellent use. During the period, the type was constructed larger than a "Sloop-of-War" yet smaller than existing frigate models. The corvette has been carried over into the modern age of steel warships and now exhibits a size larger than coastal patrol craft and may or may not be dimensionally smaller than frigates - the lines between these two ship types becoming more blurred with each passing decade.
The Swedish Navy adopted a corvette vessel through the five-strong Visby-class led by the HSwMS Visby (K31). The class was originally intended to support six such vessels though the final form - the HSwMS Uddevalla - was cancelled. This has left the class with the HSwMS Visby (K31), the HSwMS Helsingborg (K32), the HSwMS Hamosand (K33), the HSwMS Nykoping (K34) and the HSwMS Karlstad (K35). The HSwMS Visby saw her keel laid down on February 17th, 1995 and she was then launched on June 8th, 2000. The vessel remains in active service with the 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla (2013). She was built at the Kockums AB shipyard at Malmo, Sweden - a German-owned firm under the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems product banner.
The Visby-class of ships share many common traits including weaponry, propulsion and stealth characteristics. Armament is centered around 1 x 57mm Bofors Mk 3 deck gun and 8 x RBS15 Mk 2 series anti-ship missiles (AShM). The Bofors Mk 3 was introduced in 1995 and holds origins in the excellent Mk 1 series debuting in 1964. The RBS15 missile is produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics and is a "fire-and-forget" anti-ship (AS) missile with land-attack capabilities as well - giving the missile a "dual-role" battlefield existence. The weapons are governed by the Ceros 200 Fire Control Radar System (FCRS), the Condor CS-3701 Tactical Radar Surveillance System (TRSS) and an Ericsson Sea Giraffe ABM 3D processing suite. The Combat Information Center (CIC) is set at amidships under the bridge superstructure. Additional sensors are provided through a hull-mounted sonar array, a towed sonar array (at stern) and a variable depth sonar (VDS) system (at stern) to counter the threat posed by enemy submarines. The crew can also call upon an integrated countermeasures suite that includes the Rheinmetall Waffe Munition MASS (Multi-Ammunition Softkill System) decoy system. ECM (Electronic CounterMeasures) chaff launcher is set aft of the deck gun and a radar warning system is fitted to the mast via a radome assembly. The Visby-class can also dispense naval mines and depth charges if need be and is outfitted with torpedoes (4 x 40mm launchers, Type 45 torpedoes) at the stern sides making her a truly multi-role performer. The Visby can also launch and retrieve Remotely-Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for minehunting and mine neutralization actions.
The Visby-class, at one point, was to support 8 x Umkhonto Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) launchers and 2 x 6 127mm ALECTO anti-submarine rocket launchers though these have since been cancelled.