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ThyssenKrupp sales his submarine shipyard Kockums to Saab

The German naval shipbuilding industry is comprised of numerous yards; however, only Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Thyssen-Nordseewerke (TNSW) have experience in the construction of submarines.

Before its merger with ThyssenKrupp, HDW had already created partnerships with international shipbuilding companies. In 1999, HDW acquired Kockums, the leading Swedish naval shipyard, which pioneered the development of stealth surface vessels (Visby-class frigates) and Stirling AIP systems for submarines.

In late 2004, HDW was acquired by ThyssenKrupp, forming the new group ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems includes HDW, Sweden's Kockums, and Hellenic Shipyards in Greece. ThyssenKrupp offers three types of submarines for export:
- Type 209: diesel-electric patrol submarines, produced since 1974 in various versions;
- Type 212A: hybrid diesel-electric/Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines, with an AIP system based on fuel cell technology;
- Type 214: hybrid diesel-electric/AIP, long-range submarines incorporating successful design features from Type 209 and 212A boats, as well as the Dolphin-class, which are diesel-electric boats tailored to Israel's needs.
HDW has exported over 50 Type 209 submarines to a dozen countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia, Chile, India, Brazil, South Korea, Turkey, and Greece. In 2004, Portugal ordered two Type 209 vessels (fitted according to Type 214 specifications), which were delivered by HDW in late 2010.

Today, Germany's ThyssenKrupp said it had agreed to sell its submarine shipyard (Kockums) in the south of Sweden to Swedish defense firm Saab for 340 million Swedish crowns ($50.48 million). Saab and ThyssenKrupp announced in April they were in talks on the sale of the unit after the German group failed to reach a deal with Sweden for a new generation of submarines.
"The acquisition is in line with Saab's ambitions to increase its capacity within the marine area and strengthen the company's position as a full supplier of military systems," Saab said in a statement. The transaction is not expected to have a significant impact on 2014 results, the Swedish company added, noting that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will be integrated within Saab's Security and Defense Solutions division.

Sweden had been seeking ways to share development costs with other potential buyers of its A-26 submarine but failed to agree on commercial terms with ThyssenKrupp, which also builds submarines in a separate business in Germany. Sweden's government asked Saab earlier this year to come up with a strategy to support Swedish submarine naval forces. Defense analysts saw the move as opening the door for the Swedish company to build submarines instead.

ThyssenKrupp Marine employs around 1,000 staff in Sweden, mainly in the southern Swedish cities of Malmo and Karlskrona. The Marine Systems unit, which also makes naval ships, posted sales of 1.33 billion euros last year.

($1 = 6.7357 Swedish Kronas)

Source : Reuters, NTI