Skip to content Go to main navigation Go to language selector
Saab Global

Dive into a day together with our employees working with Sabertooth

5 min read

They produce cutting-edge technology, like their work environment and enjoy the supportive and friendly atmosphere among the employees. Meet three Saab employees who all contribute in their individual ways to Saab’s advanced underwater vehicle Sabertooth.

Camilla Brindmark, a 54-year-old assembler at Saab leans back in the seat of the local bus. The 25-minute trip to Saab’s factory site just outside central Linköping is a perfect time to close your eyes and save up some extra energy before work starts for the day.

At the coffee machine, Camilla meets up with colleague Emma Wretman, 28, who cycled to work from her apartment, and team leader Andreas Lindgren, 40, who has just come from eating breakfast at home with his three sons.

On this particular day, the three of them have a lot to talk about – and it’s not just about today’s tasks. One of the topics is Emma’s football match the day before. Her team Tjust IF won the derby against Västervik and Emma, a midfielder in the team, is overjoyed.

Emma, Camilla and Andreas at the coffe machine 

“There is a lot of football in my life. Sometimes it will be a training session at lunch and sometimes before work,” says Emma, who worked with assembly at Saab for two years and who now coaches new employees on their way to join her growing team.

The close-knit trio have different roles within the company, but what unites them is that they are all part of the division that produces Sabertooth, Saab’s advanced autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Installation of lift assembly in the chassi
Sabertooth with its docking station

Advanced product for underwater missions

Since Sabertooth was launched 15 years ago, numerous underwater missions and surveys down to a depth of 3,000 meters have been carried out on seabeds in oceans around the world. Thanks to Sabertooth, a research team managed to find British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship “Endurance” after 107 years at the bottom of the sea.

The shipwreck of Endurance, located on a depth of more than 3000 metres in Antarctica. Photo by: Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust

“It’s awesome to be part of building such an advanced product,” says Camilla, who came to Saab six years ago and who now has started to assume more responsibility, such as being a mentor for new employees.
Andreas, who is a team leader in production technology and contributes to the production process flowing smoothly and without interruption, agrees with his colleague: 

“When you see what Sabertooth can do for our customers, you are impressed. This is the coolest thing I’ve done so far in my working life,”
Andreas Lindgren, Team leader in production technology

Right now, the employees at Saab Underwater Systems in Linköping are working hard on a giant order for the marine geophysics company PXGEO, which has ordered more than 20 Sabertooth vehicles. PXGEO use Saab’s AUVs for deployment and retrieval of seismic nodes on the seabed on behalf of PXGEO's customers in the energy industry.

High-tech environment teeming with activity

The production environment where Emma, Camilla and Andreas work with the PXGEO order is high-tech and teems with activity. In one department, around ten employees stand at workbenches covered with large bundles of cables and detailed electronic components.

“We build the entire vehicle from the ground up. In my team, we are working on the lid of Sabertooth, which is the brain of the vehicle. We solder and fasten contacts, assemble hardware and program software,”
Camilla Brindmark, Assembler

In another department, a half-finished Sabertooth is on a trolley. Here, the components are assembled into a finished product. There are also lots of computers and equipment here to test that the system in each vehicle is working as it should.

“When we are finished with the tests in the production phase, we drive the vehicle to a tank hall in the area where we continue testing in an underwater environment. We do final tests for real operation under water at our test site in Motala,” says Andreas.

Hooked on the technology and working environment

Each of the three had a mixed career background before they applied to Saab Underwater Systems. Emma previously worked in production at another unit within Saab and was tipped off about the job at Underwater Systems by Camilla, whom she had known before and who had worked there for a few years.

Camilla herself had worked for many years as a firefighter but found that the irregular working hours in that profession had a toll on her family life.

“I had a friend who always spoke highly of Saab, so I applied for a job here. During the interview I got to walk around the work environments and was immediately hooked on the pleasant and accommodating staff and the vehicles cool technology,” she says.

Andreas had previously worked as a painter at Saab Aeronautics but left during the global financial crisis. He was working in medical technology when he received a call from an employee at Saab who wondered if Andreas was interested in a job within the growing Underwater Systems division. “It felt exciting and suited me perfectly,” he says.

Discussing cable wiring of the aft lid

Many developments opportunities

Andreas, Camilla and Emma are also very positive about the development opportunities that have opened up during their time at the company. After only two years as a assembler, Emma now coaches new employees to enter the profession.

“I was inexperienced at first, but I have learned a lot from training courses and other things that have allowed me to take on more and more responsibility. I have even had the privilege of going to Australia and inspecting one of our underwater vehicles in operation,”
Emma Wretman, Assembler

Andreas has also been on a journey within the company since he started as a production technician.

“I have taken on a role as team leader, which feels very fun. Right now I’m taking a leadership course to further develop my leadership skills. You can grow and develop very well within Saab,” he says.

Exercise and gaming provide life-work balance 

It’s the end of the working day and time to go home. Emma leaves for her football practice, while Andreas envisions a few hours of gaming before it's time to cook for his sons. 

Camilla, whos children have all grown up and live out of town, puts on her running shoes for an hour’s exercise in the forest.

“I like to exercise, especially cycling and running. I’ve done a Swedish classic and raced the Marcialongaloppet (Italy’s version of the Swedish cross-country skiing race Vasaloppet). Physical activities are my way of clearing my brain from work, from drawings, cables and electronics. It's perfect for getting a good balance in life,” she says.