Used as an example of the multipurpose Littoral Combat Ship in recently released U.S. Navy concept illustrations, the 239-foot, 38-knot Visby was delivered to the Swedish Ministry of Defense on 10 June and is seen here while on initial evaluation trials in the Baltic two weeks later. When all armament and systems are installed, the craft will displace about 620 tons full load. A Bofors 57-mm 70-caliber Sak-57 Mk 3 dual-purpose gun mount, whose barrel is concealed within the low-reflectivity gunhouse when the weapon is not in use, is barely visible on the foredeck of the multiaxial carbon-fiber, glass-reinforced plastic-construction Visby. A helicopter flight deck occupies the space between the minimal pyramidal superstructure and the stern; later units of the class are to have an elevator leading to a small below-decks hangar. The first four ships are to be equipped initially as mine hunters, and the fifth will carry eight antiship missiles, which eventually will be backfitted in the others. The class also will carry four antisubmarine torpedo tubes and two six-round antisubmarine rocket launchers.
By A. D. Baker III