Hide-and-seek with Russian subs in the Stockholm Archipelago

It is the 1980s again and a sense of déjà vu. A real Red October and the hunt is on.

Fifty shades of the Cold War!

Of course it may not be a Triton -NN, Russian, stealth, submersible, high-speed craft wandering around the Stockholm archipelago – but it may be. It could just be probing Swedish defences or the boat may be in trouble. Or it could be nothing at all (though that seems unlikely). The Russians could be testing the new Red/Green Swedish government. Or carrying out a “live” training exercise but “against” a non-NATO member to minimise the risk of live fire. Or it could be a German or even a Polish submarine on a surreptitious training exercise!

The Russians have announced that they have no boats in trouble or missing so it is unlikely to be another Kursk.

The Triton-NN concept has been known for some time but there are few actual sightings.

Triton NN Submersible image padelt-online-de

Triton NN Submersible concept image padelt-online.de

There are many theories around but the most “objective” update I have found is from the Finnish -Swede military blogger Corporal Frick. He writes:

The major news was when Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that a signal emerging from the archipelago outside of Stockholm had been sent on a Russian Navy distress channel. When the search operation got underway, there was renewed traffic, which was encrypted, and a transmitter located in Russian Kaliningrad answered. This was the first evidence that decidedly pointed towards Russia as the country of origin. This could also explain the, in my opinion, rather strong and decisive response by the Swedish Navy when the first visual sightings occurred.

Representatives of the Swedish Defence Forces have denied that they have received knowledge about a distress signal, although the exact wording leaves the possibility open that A) the info has been distributed on a strict need-to-know basis, and as such is not available to the officers involved in the operation, or B) the interpretation that a signal on a known foreign military channel used for distress signals does not equal a known distress signal. They have also clearly stated that they do not know the country of origin or exact nature of the underwater activity, and as such they will continue to refer to it simply as “foreign underwater activity”. Most importantly, it has been confirmed that three visual sightings have taken place, and that the operation will continue for a number of days. Imagery from one of the sightings has also been released. The picture is grainy, but could be interpreted to show some kind of a midget submarine, e.g. the Russian Triton NN.


A real Triton-NN? image from 2008 oplatsen.wordpress.com

The question of where the mother ship is located has been focused on the Russian-owned Liberian-flagged crude carrier NS Concord. The ship has been anchored outside of St Petersburg since the beginning of May, acting as a floating storage. Last week, it set sail and sailed to a position right outside the border of Swedish territorial waters, where it has since loitered. To begin with its AIS-data gave the destination as Danish Straits, but today this was changed to Primorsk. When the tanker suddenly found itself in the limelight, the Russian research/sea survey vessel Professor Logachev suddenly headed out to sea, destined for Las Palmas(?). It remains to be seen if this vessel will make a stop outside of Stockholm, but the timing seems somewhat suspicious. The Logachev also happened(?) to be traveling in the middle of the three-ship Dutch naval flotilla heading home from Tallinn, with the Walrus-class submarine HNLMS Bruinvis probably not far away either.

The Triton-NN could – it is speculated – carry upto 6 Spetsnaz divers and 2 crew. There is also some suggestion after a sighting of a black-clad figure that somebody could have disembarked and come ashore on an island in the archipelago.

A Russian Ethan Hunt?

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2 Responses to “Hide-and-seek with Russian subs in the Stockholm Archipelago”

  1. Swedish submarine hunt continues ….. but is it just a play to promote NATO membership? | The k2p blog Says:

    […] hysteria is dying […]

  2. “That demmed elusive submarine” | The k2p blog Says:

    […] that it was now confirmed that a foreign mini-submarine of unknown (read Russian) nationality had violated Swedish territorial waters in the Stockholm archipelago on October 17th. It is not known how it got […]

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