Visby of Sweden is considered as a corvette with absolutely superior power compared to other competitors in the world.
In the past two decades, the design of stealth warships to deal with electronic reconnaissance has become a mainstream trend of the world military shipbuilding industry. Although not a major military power in the world, Sweden is one of the pioneers in developing stealthy warships. Of these, the Swedish Visby-class corvettes are rated to have superior strength compared to other competitors in the world, HSwMS Visby is the lead ship of the class.
In the 1980s, when other countries were concentrating on developing heavy destroyers, Sweden successfully developed a HMS Smyge high-speed boat with a displacement of 140-ton. The ship was made of completely new materials and technologies that allowed testing of several new technologies as a basis for future warship designs. Experience from Smyge was used while planning the Visby-class corvettes. The Visby project was initiated in 1995 and was one of the world’s first stealth warship programs.
Five years behind schedule, the first of the Visby class corvettes have been formally declared operational. The lead ship of the class, Visby K31, was launched in June 2000. It was commissioned in 2002 and underwent a decade-long trial before being put into service with the Swedish Navy in 2012.
The Visby and her sisters was the largest surface vessel project ever conducted by Kockums shipyard. The hull of the vessel is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a material that makes the ship very strong and resilient in relation to their weight. The material is one of the factors that gives the vessel very low signature levels, in terms of radar, magnetic and hydro-acoustic. This makes the ship difficult to detect on radar and infrared camera. At the same time the vessel can withstand shock effects very well and she can also take a big load.
The Visby is designed with a unique appearance that ensures high stealth ability and almost no similar opponents. Flat surfaces and concealed equipment reduce radar signature to a minimum. Every feature that need not necessarily be located outside the hull has been built in or concealed under specially designed hatches. On both sides of the ship and the command tower are designed like pyramids, the front turret is also designed in that way. The 57mm cannon barrel can be folded into the turret to reduce its cross section, create a unified block. The ship has a displacement of 650 tons, a length of 72.6m with a beam of 10.4m and a draft of 2.5m.
The gas turbine exhausts have been concealed in hidden outlets close to the water surface at the stern of the vessel. The Visby is equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine arrangement. Four TF 50 A gas turbines from Honeywell and two MTU 16V 2000 N90 diesel motors are connected to two gearboxes which run two Kamewa waterjet propulsors. The propulsion system provides a continues maximum speed of 15 knots in Diesel engine mode and more than 40 knots in Gasturbine mode.
The ship’s main armament is a Bofors 57 mm gun Mk3 as mentioned above. The gun has a fully automatic loading system containing 120 rounds of ready-to-fire ammunition and it can fires up to 220 rounds a minute to a maximum range of 17,000m.
She is equipped with eight Saab Bofors Dynamics RBS 15 mk2 anti-ship missiles. The RBS 15 mk2 uses active Ku-band radar homing and has a range of more than 200km. The missile has a high subsonic speed, Mach 0.9, and is armed with a 200kg warhead. The missiles will be installed below deck and be fired through special hatches to maintain the vessel’s stealth. For anti-submarine warfare, the Visby is equipped with 4 400mm torpedo launchers for Torped 45 anti-submarine homing torpedoes.
To enhance the ship’s flexibility, Visby was designed to have a helicopter flight deck at the stern. A helicopter, such as the AgustaWestland A109M selected by Sweden, can land, take off, and refuel on the upper deck.
The main sensor of Visby stealth corvette is the Giraffe ABM 3D surveillance radar, this radar is capable of detecting anti-ship missiles at distances from 70 to 80km. There are also other radar systems such as Ceros 200 Fire control radar system, Condor CS-3701 Tactical Radar Surveillance System, Hull-mounted sonar, Towed array sonar system and Variable depth sonar.
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The ship is equipped with CETRIS C3 system consists of the Saab Systems 9LV mk3E combat management system, the MAST decision support aid and the integrated communications system.
Visby is the first stealth corvette in the world equipped with extremely special electronic systems. Any crew who uses a terminal they can fully receive all the electronic data that they are transmitted to access.
Studies around the world show that only a few modern radar systems in the world can detect Visby stealth corvette at a distance of 20 to 22km, tracking distance from 11 to 13km, so Visby has a huge advantage over the opponent. Visby can launch attacks before being detected.