Saab and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) agreed earlier this year that the Swedish defence equipment manufacturer develops and produces the SLWT (Saab Lightweight Torpedo), which was also dubbed NLT. In Le Bourget, Stefan Nitschke, Editor-in-Chief of NAVAL FORCES, Mönch, spoke with Saab about SLWT's design characteristics and market opportunities.
Mönch: How much did Saab spend on Research & Development im order to complete SLWT's development?
Saab: We have invested in Research & Development but due to commercial reasons we can't inform about the amount.
Mönch: How quickly will the new torpedo weapon be introduced?
Saab: The SLWT will be integrated into Royal Swedish Navy's current platforms within five years.
Mönch: How are you setting up the torpedo for future mission requirements?
Saab: The torpedo is designed with emphasis on modularity and upgradeability. Internal interfaces are kept on a high level, where components are defined by an electrical interface, a communications interface, and a software interface. Thus, it will be straightforward to replace a certain component with a new one as new technologies emerge. As an example, the central vehicle computer, whixh is also responsible for homing system data processing, interfaces with other subsystems through standard Gbit Ethernet buses that can easily be replaced. Critical parts, such as the drivetrain/propulsor and homing system, are physically prepared for future performance and functionality upgrades.
Mönch: When it comes to exports, what's behind a future marketing strategy?
Saab: Lightweight Torpedoes (LWTs) are, unlike today's Heavyweight Torpedoes (HWTs), operated from a number of different platform types - surface ships, aircraft, submarines, craft of opportunity. This implies more market opportunities. Important characteristics are flexible integration solutions and low integration costs. By offering a wide range of alternatives, all the way from a stand-alone system with no integration to a fully CMS (Combat Management System)-integrated ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) system, Saab can challenge the competition in all areas. We see that SLWT will offer unique capabilities in shallow and confined areas.
Mönch: Do you believe the SLWT will find new potential customers outside Sweden and Europe?
Saab: Yes, we sew great potential as the new SLWT has great potential both (for operations) in the littorals and 'blue water'.
Mönch: Thank you.