Sweden’s military spokesman confirmed on Jan. 11 that the country had carried out a second search for a suspected Russian submarine just shortly after a high-profile sub hunt concluded in late October.
Military spokesman Jesper Tengroth confirmed that Sweden carried out a second search for a Russian submarine on Oct. 31, 2014. This second search occurred just a week after Sweden called off a failed search for a suspected Russian submarine that had infiltrated Swedish waters off the Stockholm Archipelago.
The search was triggered after Sven-Olof Kviman, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Swedish navy, spotted a mysterious object moving through the water about 3,000 feet away from his seaside home outside of Stockholm. Kviman identified the object as a submarine, and he asked his wife to take pictures of the vessel.
Kviman’s took three photos of the submarine, which they then promptly sent to the Swedish military. Based on Kviman’s observations, Sweden declared the sighting credible but insufficient to conclude that a second submarine was in fact operating in Swedish territorial waters.
The first search for a suspected submarine was Sweden’s largest military operation since the Cold War ended. The search ultimately did not manage to capture the suspected vessel. Sweden never named the vessel as Russian — although Swedish defence experts said it almost certainly did belong to Moscow.
The second search also failed at capturing the presumed Russian submarine. In this search, Sweden secretly deployed its submarine-hunting corvette, the CMS Malmo.
In November, the Swedish Armed Forces presented to reporters a sonar scan showing an object in Swedish territorial waters. The vessel appears to have a conning tower indicating that it is a submarine.
The news of a second submarine hunt in Sweden coincides with a joint UK-US anti-submarine operation taking place off of the Scottish coast.
The British Ministry of Defence called the US for assistance after spotting a suspected Russian submarine last week. The submarine may have been trying to track one of Britain’s Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.
News of these two additional submarine infiltrations follows a general Russian trend of pushing the boundaries of its neighbours’ territorial sovereignty following the crisis in Ukraine.
Between March and November 2014, Moscow and its opponents had 40 close military encounters due to Russian aerial incursions into Western airspace. Of those 40 encounters, 11 were classified as “serious incidents with escalation risk” by the European Leadership Network.
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