• Sweden edition
 
Military 'not interested' in Soviet sub wreck

Military 'not interested' in Soviet sub wreck

Published: 03 Mar 2011 14:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Mar 2011 11:34 GMT+01:00

According to the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvaret), there is no need to further examine the wreck, which was found off the coast of Gotland in the summer of 2009.

But former Supreme Commander Bengt Gustafsson believes the wreck could shed new light on Soviet submarine activity in Swedish waters in the 1980s.

Ola Oskarsson, CEO at marine survey company Marin Mätteknik (MMT), which located the wreck, is also surprised by the Armed Forces' lack of interest in the sunken submarine.

"I don’t understand what the Armed Forces is thinking, but maybe they know more than they want to admit to. But it's not possible to draw an conclusions from what's seen on the outer service," he told the TT news agency.

The wreckage was found by MMT two years ago and has since been examined by the company during several diving operations.

However, it remains unclear exactly why the vessel sank and the Swedish military is is no rush to investigate it further, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

Bo Rask, chief of staff at the Naval Tactical Command, argued that the Armed Forces has learned enough about the wreck just from looking at the pictures taken by MMT.

“We can see it hasn’t sunk because of any damage from a weapon, which is all we need to know,” he TT.

Oskarsson disagrees, however, telling TT the pictures are inconclusive.

"A submarine has two surfaces, one external and one inner one. A depth charge wouldn’t affect the external layer, which means you wouldn’t be able to see the damage from outside," he said.

While the pictures taken by MMT aren't enough to confirm the vessel's identity, it appears the wreck is of a 76 metre so-called Whiskey-class submarine, a model common in the Soviet Union's Cold War fleet and often mentioned in the context of Swedish submarine hunts conducted in the 1980s.

Rask told TT that the Swedish Armed Forces will look into the wreckage eventually.

“But there is no hurry, we know of many abandoned submarines along the Swedish coastline,” he said.

One theory is that the wreck may be that of a submarine discovered near the island of Utö in the Stockholm archipelago in 1981 and attacked by the Swedish destroyer Halland.

It was one of the first of many incidents involving suspected submarine intrusions into Swedish waters in the 1980s.

"It's hard to say. I found a submarine from 1914 that I thought was 50 years old. but I think this one has been lying there since the 1970s or 1980s," said Oskarsson.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

21:06 March 3, 2011 by mojofat
Nothing to see here. Move along. Oh, it's a nuclear sub? Armed ballistic missles? Oh yes, well...just move along. No need to worry your pretty little head over this.
22:20 March 3, 2011 by teknowaffle
@Mojofat

A Whiskey Class Sub was a diesel electric sub, so not nuclear. However it should be investigated to see what chemicals it may be leaking into the environment. Some submarines I believe carried mercury for a ballast, but I could be mistaken.
08:18 March 4, 2011 by RobinHood
It's certainly a Whisky, and Whiskys certainly carried nukes, not ballistics, but topedoes tipped with low-yield, fleet killing nukes. The Russians (and probably the Swedes) will know what's in it.

The fact that the Russians haven't coughed up and the Swedes say they aren't interested, makes me think it's already been dealt with at a political and militiary level. Just because we don't read about stuff in the papers, doesn't mean that stuff doesn't happen.

Russians rarely "abandon" submarines off the Swedish coast, and submarine sinkings usually don't have survivors. This one was probably "loaded for bear" and got into trouble, or was damaged by the Harland in 1981. Whiskeys had a crew of about 60 all of whom are probably entombed in the hull, and deserve a proper burial.

I expect the Russians and the Swedes just wish it would now go away, which is why the Swedish militiary is faking a lack of interest. If there is a nuke in the hull, it will be a first-class international scandal. I think the locals might like to know either way.
14:50 March 4, 2011 by reader in USA
Russia has a pile of petro dolars. Let the Russians spend their money on the sub and Sweden can spend theirs on illegal aleins.
15:31 March 4, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Raise the sub, give the poor sailors a decent burial and put the sub in a museum and charge for tickets to see it. Problem solved.
08:36 March 9, 2011 by Kevin Harris
If there was a possible loose nuke laying about of the coast of most countries, the press would reflect the people's interest in a possible instant fiery death.

The Swedish people and press seem remarably relaxed about what might be rusting away in the bowels of that sub.
06:18 March 10, 2011 by wenddiver
Anybody care to guess what the Russians were up to right of your coast at the height of the Cold War???? Did they land somebody, or provide some form of support for a certain political element?
10:34 March 10, 2011 by RobinHood
@Wendover

Agents were occasionally landed and collected by sub during the cold war, but there were easier ways to get in and out of Sweden.

The Russians and Swedes regularly staked out one another's Baltic naval ports. Captains vied with one another who could carry out the most audacious intrusion. Missions were usually for gathering intelligence about whatever the other side might be up to, and testing response times. The Russians trained in "hot" conditions for dummy torpedo attacks, mine laying and cable cutting, and occasionaly spawned a navy diver who swam about in a harbour for a couple of hours pretending to be James Bond.

Submarine activity in the cold war, and even now, was highly regulated. It was probably the hottest area of the cold war. There were accidents and occasional collisions between aggressive comanders playing chicken with one another. Navies hushed things up as best they could. That's how a sunken Russian submarine sat off the Swedish coast for 20 years without Swedish navy comment.

It would be nice if the Russian families were officially informed what became of their loved ones, and maybe invited to visit Sweden to pay their respects at the wreck site.
Today's headlines
Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Indian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Submarine search called off in Stockholm
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Submarine search called off in Stockholm

UPDATED: The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

Science
Asteroids leave mark on Sweden
Astroids can leave marks like these. Photo: TT

Asteroids leave mark on Sweden

Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"“Denna” or “den här”? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

967
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN