Readers of the blog will remember the Gävle-incident in July, when Swedish media reported that an unidentified object had been recorded by a survey vessel in the port of Gävle. Back then I argued that the likely culprit was a swimmer delivery vehicle from the Swedish Defence Forces. The case then more or less died down, with the Swedish Defence Forces eventually issuing a (half-hearted?) denial that they had operated in the area at the time.
Today the story resurfaced after Swedish media published news about a private report detailing that the incident should be classified as a “serious intentional violation”, and that foreign underwater activity had taken place in the port. The two authors of the report are a far cry from your everyday happy blogger, and consist of Nils-Ove Jansson (former deputy chief of the Swedish military intelligence agency MUST and with work experience in naval intelligence analysis) as well as Nils Engström (retired naval officer). While they are unable to determine the nationality of the intruder, they point to “certain similarities” between the pictures and Triton-NN, a Russian SDV. The report has been sent to the Swedish Defence Forces and the Port Authority of Gävle.
What makes the whole thing more interesting is the comment by the Swedish Defence Forces when confronted with the findings. To Swedish Daily SvD they point to their own investigation, which they “are confident in”, and conclude that there are “no indications of this being foreign underwater activity”.
Note choice word “foreign”.
Naturally, it is possible (even likely) that there are details not mentioned in the media abstract of the report (which certainly would make for interesting reading), but when one put the pieces together it does seem that we have a situation where:
- Two independent experts have confirmed the presence of underwater activity in Gävle,
- The Swedish Defence Forces denies it is the work of foreign special forces,
- We know from before that the Swedish Defence Forces has a policy of not commenting on issues dealing with how their own special forces train or operate.
As such, I would still argue that the most likely explanation is a Swedish SDV with associated special forces either training or performing a live mission in the port.
The sources are found here and here (both paywalled), with a shorter version for free here.
Video of the JFD SEAL Carrier being demonstrated during DSEI this month. The class is in use by the Swedish special forces.