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Saab Global
Visby-class Corvettes July 2019

Securing littoral supremacy

2 min read

From Sweden to Singapore. Intelligence gathering, surveillance and sea denial along coastlines are becoming increasingly important. Today the centre of attention for naval operations has shifted from deep, open seas to the littoral zones of the world.

Littoral challenges

When operating in littoral areas one of the biggest challenges is to be able to detect targets and threats blended in the natural environment, such as islands, as well as commercial and recreational traffic. A confusing combination of big thermal variations in water layers, unpredictable tides and currents, high reverberation and highly directional ambient noise also makes it difficult to surveil the surroundings.

Mastering the littoral environment requires systems with highly accurate sensitivity. The technologies used for operations in open seas do not always have the same sensitivity as the systems needed for coastal areas. Conducting operations also requires personnel with experience of operations in a littoral environment and which are normally only found in a few countries.

Singapore’s coastline

Today the centre of attention for naval operations around the world has shifted from deep, open seas to the littoral zones.

“The situation in the surroundings of Singapore is rapidly changing and now almost every country has their own fleet with submarines. For a country like Singapore, dependent on trade, it is very important to be in full control of the surroundings like the Malacca and Singapore Straits”, says Anders Dahl, Head of Saab Singapore.

Just like Saab’s home market Sweden, with its dense archipelago, Singapore is a country with a complex coastline with many small islands and deep sea close to shore. During the years Sweden has developed a deep understanding for this environment and the Swedish Navy has been practicing in littoral areas for many years. This experience can be used when working with naval forces from Singapore and other countries with similar environments.

Saab’s naval capabilities cover the entire spectrum of surface and subsurface operations. With decades of experience, Saab has a proven history of delivering ship and submarine systems, integrated combat systems and a wide range of dedicated subsystems and products across the naval domain.


The littoral zone - the shallow parts of oceans nearest to the share - is where much maritime activity occurs