From high skies to deep waters

It is not Sauron’s crown in Lord of the Rings shown above, although one could suspect author Tolkien was influenced by the rear part of a submarine in his drawings of Middle Earth. This is the Saab Kockums production line in Karlskrona, where the world’s most modern submarine is being built. During the end of last year, I got to spend five weeks within the A26 project as my first longer rotation outside of my home department at Aeronautics. It was an exciting experience coming from a project where we literally aim for the sky, to one where the deep waters rule.

Based at the Malmö site, I got a warm welcome by the A26 project management team, who I was spending my rotation with. The office is right next to the beautiful harbor, and there are plenty of really nice lunch restaurants within walking distance (to much joy for the food-lover writing this).

My first impression was the very open-minded spirit of the office; Kockums is a rather new business area within Saab, where processes and ways of working are still being developed and optimized. Based on that, I got a hands-on task to analyze a part of the development-to-production process within the project to give my view on areas for improvement.

One week of my rotation was spent at the production site and shipyard in Karlskrona. I had heard so many stories about the not-so-nice weather there during wintertime, but I was happy to find myself enjoying sunny days there in the end of November. The shipyard site is absolutely beautiful, giving a great view of the ships and the archipelago as you walk from one meeting to another, being greeted by other Saabers in yellow vests and helmets. The coolest part of the visit to Karlskrona was watching the massive metal roller shaping the outer structure of the submarines, as well as being able to step into one of the submarines and one of the corvettes in dock. It almost felt like stepping into a blockbuster movie set!

Back in Malmö, I was very excited to present my findings at the end of the rotation, and it really felt like I had made the most of my time at Kockums. I also realized that fighter jets and submarines have more in common than you might think, and it’s pretty cool to be working for a company that can do both.

Till next time,
Johanna Friis