11:13 GMT +328 May 2018
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    British Navy personnel stand atop the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland

    Distress Calls: Sweden Seeks UK Assistance With Submarine Warfare

    © AFP 2018 / ANDY BUCHANAN
    Military & Intelligence
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    While Swedish media have continuously painted threat scenarios against the neutral Nordic country, the Swedish government has been pulling at all stops to secure the country against an imaginary Russian threat. Last week, a profound agreement on hybrid war and submarine warfare was signed with the United Kingdom.

    Despite the fact that the very notion of "hybrid war" is vague and ill-defined, in Sweden it is being largely touted as a greater danger than terrorism, with the media "revealing" fictitious psychological impact operations on Russia's part in both traditional and social media. On top of that, "hybrid war" methods may supposedly be used to knock out computer systems, telecommunications and energy facilities.

    Earlier this month, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist signed a controversial treaty on military cooperation with the United States with another one with the UK to follow. Despite having signed two high-profile treaties with NATO heavyweights and allowing neutral Sweden to serve as a playground for NATO war games, Hultqvist stressed, that neither of the steps should be interpreted as a move towards the alliance.

    Earlier this year, plans detailing cooperation with the UK were signed for their respective navies and air forces, and now the two governments also want to include armies.

    Ever since the Cold War, Sweden has maintained extensive military cooperation with the UK, which is one of Sweden's closest military allies. Nevertheless, Sweden's military collaboration with the UK in the field of submarine warfare is still shrouded in secrecy, despite recent confessions by Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist.

    "Underwater Warfare is one of the research areas, in which we have ongoing cooperation with Britain. Research cooperation is about electric and magnetic signatures and sensors, as well as underwater explosions and their effects on vessels," Marinette Nyh Radebo of the Defense Ministry told Swedish public television network SVT.

    After notorious submarine hunts in the early 1980s following an incident with a stranded Soviet sub, Sweden launched its comprehensive military cooperation with the UK on submarine protection. Remarkably, the collaboration was only made public in 1998.

    Moreover, Sweden built MUSAC, a Naval sensor analysis center dealing with suspected submarine violations, with close support from the UK. British experts have also helped analyze the Swedish findings.

    During the Cold War, Swedish naval chief would have established an exile headquarters in the UK in the event of war. The UK was also the planned destination for the fleeing Swedish king and government. At present, Carl XVI Gustaf is an honorary admiral in the British Navy. There are only two such, the other one being the Sultan of Brunei.

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    Tags:
    submarine, NATO, Peter Hultqvist, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Sweden
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