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Newspaper source: there were 3-4 foreign submarines

Published lördag 24 januari 2015 kl 13.18
An amateur picture of the suspected submarine in October. But were there more? Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
An amateur picture of the suspected submarine in October. But were there more? Photo: Swedish Armed Forces

The Swedish Armed Forces believe three to four foreign submarines entered Stockholm archipelago last October, according to the daily Dagens Industri.

In the middle of October 2014, a very public submarine hunt took place in the Stockholm archipelago. During a press conference the month after that, the Swedish Supreme Commander Sverker Göransson confirmed that they had proof that a smaller foreign submarine had entered Swedish waters. He also said it is possible there had been more.

The news agency TT reports that a large amount of information has been collected since, and on Saturday, the news paper Dagens Industri quoted "a centrally placed source" in the Swedish Armed forces who says that the Armed Forces now suspect there were three or four vessels that entered the Swedish waters uninvited.

Real Admiral Anders Grenstad is the Deputy Director of Operations at the Armed Forces. On record, he is not willing to confirm this number, but refers back to the statement from last year of one confirmed foreign submarine, but possibly more. He tells TT that they are still analysing the data, and that a conclusion from that intelligence will come in March.

Nevertheless, following Saturday's publication, the defence spokesperson of the Liberal Party, Allan Widman, now demands that the Swedish Armed Forces gets access to more helicopters to help in the submarine hunt.

"Three to four submarines sounds like an extensive foreign under water operation, if that information is correct. Then the whole picture changes somewhat," he told Dagens Industri, referring to the picture given at the press conference in November last year.

Widman says it is high time for the Armed Forces to increase its number of helicopters that can quickly scan large areas from the air and also enter into combat.

"We should have had them in place already when the intelligence operation in Stockholm archipelago started," he said on Saturday.

He is critical of the project known as Helikopter 14, which would give helicopters that could take part in a submarine hunt, but not until 2020.

"This whole project, which has been going on for 13 years without reaching its goal, is a nightmare for Sweden. It costs money and we are without this capability. I think the quickest way is to discontinue with the project and instead to immediately buy a helicopter for operations at sea from the US," he told DI.

The Liberal Party is the strongest supporter in parliament of a Swedish Nato membership.

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