Russian Submarine Wreck Found in Sweden’s Territorial Waters

UPDATE: The Swedish government announced that the wrecked submarine found off its coast was probably a Tsarist-era Russian model from about a century ago.

A wrecked mini-submarine was found last week in waters off of Sweden’s eastern coast, media in Sweden reported on July 27. Authorities believe it is a Russian model, primarily because of Cyrillic letters on the hull. They have not disclosed the exact location of the wreckage, but say it is around 1.5 nautical miles from the Swedish coast.

“We are 110 percent sure that it is within Swedish waters” said Dennis Åsberg, a member of Ocean X Team which made the discovery.

Reports say the sub is some 60 feet long and 10 feet wide, and holds a crew of three to six men.

Since the hatches are unopened, experts believe the crew perished inside the vessel sometime after it crashed. “The submarine is completely intact, has no visible damage to the hull and the hatches are closed. Therefore do we fear that the crew would not have been able to save themselves when the sub went down,” said Ocean X diver Stefan Hogeborn.

Security consultants say the submarine has not been crashed long, and speculate that it was part of an unsuccessful secret test or mission. “I imagine it has been tested and failed,” said security consultant Joakim von Braun.

Russian media have said it is not a modern submarine, but an antique Russian Som-class sub from the World War i era.

The report comes during a time of increasingly provocative behavior from Russia toward Sweden. In September, Russian fighter jets crossed into Sweden’s airspace. Shortly after, a Russian military aircraft with its transponder switched off flew dangerously near to a commercial jet in the south of Sweden. Sweden also says Russian naval forces entered its waters last fall, which prompted a sub hunt that became Sweden’s most involved military operation since the Cold War. Last week, Russia warned that if Sweden joins nato, Russia would “have to resort to a response of the military kind.”