Finding a Swedish submarine is close to mission impossible

Somewhere beneath the surface of the Baltic Sea, a submarine moves slowly through the water. The sonar operators report to the officer in charge what ships are moving on the surface. Hunting a Swedish submarine in the Baltic Sea is one of the most difficult things an opponent can do. Submarine hunting is one of many exercise tasks during the Baltops exercise.

Swedish submarines are very difficult to discover thanks to the construction and the crew's professional and tactical behavior.
Swedish submarines are very difficult to discover thanks to the construction and the crew's professional and tactical behaviour. Photo: Rebecka Signäs/Swedish Armed Forces


The Swedish submarines are known worldwide to be able to move quietly and concealed without being discovered. In order to defend the country's borders and territorial integrity in the event of war, the submarines are loaded with different types of torpedoes, both live ones and torpedoes for exercise purposes.

"Swedish submarines are very difficult to discover thanks to the construction and the crew's professional and tactical behaviour", says Mikael, Commanding officer on one of Sweden's submarines.

Thanks to their unique ability to stay hidden, the Swedish submarines are a sought-after resource even in international contexts.

"In an actual scenario, an opponent does not discover that a submarine is in the area until we have lowered the first vessel. During the exercise Baltops, the other vessels will have a hard time trying to find us", continues Mikael.
So we can live as usual

Participating in an exercise like BALTOPS improves the navy's ability to perform integrated naval operations together. It also makes it possible for Swedish units to train together in larger multinational assemblies.

"Practicing together, both with other Swedish and international partners, contributes to a stronger navy and a stronger defense. Together we contribute to a higher threshold effect and secures thereby the territorial integrity. It is important that we together show presence in the Swedish neighbourhood", says the head of First Submarine Flotilla, Mats Agnéus.

This type of exercise is not unusual for the Navy who has long experience of international cooperation. All parts of the Navy are important for showing presence along the country's coasts and for defending and preserving territorial integrity offshore, so that the lives of Swedish citizens can continue as usual.