• 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

A dispute has broken out over whether or not the wreck of a suspected Soviet-era submarine found near the Baltic island of Gotland deserves further investigation.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

771
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