Military Review

Sweden increases its combat readiness in the Baltic


The Swedish naval forces can rightfully be considered one of the main forces in the Baltic Sea region. With a limited number and size, the Swedish Navy has modern equipment and weapons. Organizational structure and payroll fleet ensure effective work in the surrounding areas and fully meet the requirements of the Swedish defense doctrine.

Purpose and structure

The main task of the Swedish Navy is to protect territorial waters, islands and coastal areas from the aggression of third countries. Due to the neutral and non-aligned status of Sweden, the fleet must conduct such work independently, however, cooperation with the navies of other countries, primarily NATO members, is not excluded. In particular, Swedish ships regularly participate in international exercises.

The Swedish Navy does not have a large number of personnel. Directly in the fleet, approx. 1250 people. The Marine Corps also employs approx. 850. Most of the personnel are part of the ship's crews.

Non-nuclear submarine HMS Gotland

Several naval bases are located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The largest is the naval base in Karlskrona, to which the bulk of the surface fleet and all submarine forces are assigned. There is also a training center for the Navy. Until recently, this base was the main one; the headquarters of the Navy worked on it. Since last fall, the force headquarters has been operating at Muskö base near Stockholm. This naval base was built in the rocks of the island of the same name and is one of the most protected facilities of the Swedish armed forces.

There are also a number of other basing points that ensure the operation of various formations and structures of the fleet. These are mainly units of patrol ships and boats, etc.

A Visby-class corvette in the Muskyo base tunnel

The organizational and staff structure of the Navy is quite simple. The combat strength is divided between three fleets. This is the 1st flotilla of submarines (Karlskrona), as well as the 3rd and 4th flotillas of surface ships, distributed between the naval bases of Karlskrona, Muskyo and Berg. The 1st Marine Regiment also serves in Berg.

Submarine forces

Submarines from the 1st Flotilla are considered the basis of the combat strength. At the moment, Sweden has five non-nuclear submarines of two projects. Currently, work is underway to create a new project, which in the near future will allow replacing the oldest ships.

In 1989-90. two Södermanland-class nuclear submarines entered service. In the mid-nineties, three ships of the Gotland Ave. were built. Both projects provide for the use of an air-independent power plant, which significantly increases combat capabilities. The submarine forces are armed with torpedoes and mines of various types.

Corvette Sundsvall type Göteborg

Since 2015, construction of the submarine Blekinge, the lead ship of the project of the same name, also known as A26, has been underway. By the mid-twenties, the Navy wants to receive two such boats and replace the outdated Södermanlands. In the A26 project, VNEU and torpedo weapons are again used.

Surface fleet

As part of the surface forces, two corvettes of the Göteborg type are still in service, two more such corvettes have been put into reserve. Corvettes with a displacement of up to 425 tons carry artillery, torpedo and missile weapons. The main strike weapon of the Gothenburgs is the RBS-15 anti-ship missiles. The corvettes HMS Gävle and HMS Sundsvall are currently undergoing extensive modernization. After its completion, they will be reclassified as type "Gavle" - after the name of one of the ships.

Patrol ship Carlskrona at the pier of the same name naval base

The basis of the surface forces by now has become the Visby corvettes in the amount of five units. The 640-ton stealth ships carry missile and artillery weapons to combat surface, air and submarine targets. The increased attention was paid to the issues of electronic intelligence and electronic warfare.

The patrol fleet includes two outdated Stockholm boats built in the mid-eighties. With a displacement of 380 tons, they carry a 57-mm gun mount and RBS-15 missiles. Since the beginning of the nineties, boats of the Tapper type were built - of the 12 built, 8 are still in service. The 62-ton boat has machine guns and light anti-submarine weapons on board. The largest combat unit of the Navy, HMS Carlskrona, belongs to the patrol ships. This ship is armed with 57- and 40-mm artillery systems and carries an advanced detection system.

An important component of the surface force is the Stridsbåt 90 multipurpose speedboats in the amount of approx. 150 units There is also approx. 100 motor boats of the "G" type. These boats and boats can be used for a wide range of tasks, incl. for the landing of troops. In addition to them, there are approx. 10 specialized landing craft types Trossbat and Griffon.

Sweden increases its combat readiness in the Baltic
Minesweeper HMS Koster

Five of the seven Koster minesweepers built in the eighties and nineties remain in service. Later in production, they were replaced by the more modern Styrsö ships. Two of these ships continue to serve as minesweepers, two more have been converted into diving vessels.

In the near future, the Swedish Navy will decommission its only reconnaissance vessel, the HMS Orion (A201), equipped with a variety of electronic surveillance and data acquisition equipment. In 2020-21. it is planned to accept a new ship of this class with more advanced equipment into the fleet, after which Orion will be decommissioned or rebuilt for other needs.

The surface forces include a dozen and a half auxiliary vessels - transports, rescuers, tugs, torpedo boats, etc. With their help, the daily service of the combat personnel, exercises and participation in humanitarian operations are provided.

Reconnaissance vessel HMS Orion

Today and tomorrow

In general, in terms of its quantitative and qualitative indicators, the Swedish Navy corresponds to the views of the country's military and political leadership and is capable of ensuring the security of the sea borders. At the same time, certain measures are needed to further develop the fleet and build up its combat capability, incl. in conjunction with other types of armed forces.

In the context of further development, the main efforts are now aimed at updating the submarine forces and intelligence capabilities. For this, the submarine Blekinge is being built at the Swedish shipyard, and the construction of a promising reconnaissance vessel has been ordered in Poland. The production of boats of various types continues. Plans to build new large surface ships have not yet been announced. The newest and most efficient corvettes in the Navy are still the Visby corvettes.

At the same time, organizational measures are carried out. So, last year, the main headquarters of the Navy was moved to its old place - to the protected naval base Muskyo. This made it possible to reactivate and return to operation a unique military facility, as well as to dramatically increase the security and stability of command structures without significant expenditures.

The most massive sample in the Swedish Navy - the Strb 90 boat

A few days ago, it was announced that the military presence on Fr. Gotland. In view of the changing situation in the Baltic region, it was decided to transfer additional units to the island and increase their combat readiness. These activities will involve the ground forces, the air force and the navy. However, detailed data on the participation of the fleet in the defense of Gotland and the surrounding areas have not yet been disclosed.

Against the background of neighbors

In general, the Swedish Navy is one of the largest and most powerful in the region, but cannot claim absolute leadership. There are also larger and more developed fleets, which have advantages of a quantitative and qualitative nature. However, the Swedish navy is consistent with the country's current defense doctrine and capabilities.

Taking into account the changes in the military-political situation in the Baltic and in Europe in general, the Swedish command is forming and adjusting plans for the development of the armed forces and the Navy in particular. Structures and subunits are being relocated, exercises and troops are being deployed. At the same time, a radical restructuring of the naval forces is not planned. Apparently, in the foreseeable future, the general appearance and capabilities of the Swedish Navy will not seriously change.
Photos used:
Swedish Ministry of Defense, Wikimedia Commons
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 27 August 2020 18: 07
    I would like to thank the author for a balanced article.
    1. Hunter 2
      Hunter 2 27 August 2020 18: 48
      Yeah thanks. The German Navy - an order of magnitude better quality and balanced! Plus - the Germans, produce the entire range of both surface and wire Fleet.
      Swedes - let them continue to search for Russian Subs! wink
      1. Escobar
        Escobar 3 October 2020 17: 31
        Considering that there is one ancient "halibut" in the Baltic
  2. iouris
    iouris 27 August 2020 18: 13
    The author needs to understand and state specifically that Sweden and its fleet are not "neutral", but are deeply integrated into the structures of NATO and the EU and have one single potential enemy: the Russian. We did not see this in the article.
  3. Borik
    Borik 27 August 2020 18: 14
    After reading the article, one gets the feeling that the Swedish Navy has decided to switch completely to the mosquito composition of its fleet in the near future. However, he does not refuse submarines.
    1. We are for our
      We are for our 27 August 2020 18: 49
      A typical embodiment of the concept of a coastal fleet, which is built for specific tasks on the principle of sufficiency and maximum economy.
      Mosquito fleet, it's all about something else.
    2. Doccor18
      Doccor18 27 August 2020 18: 55
      the feeling that the Swedish Navy has decided in the near future to switch completely to the mosquito composition of its fleet ...

      Well, very expensive frigates nowadays turn out ... About destroyers and cruisers it is better not to remember. And from 1-2 frigates it will not be very useful. If you have, then at least 4, and even 6-8. But the budget will not pull such a number of pennants. And with whom muscles to measure? Germany with Finland and Poland seem to be allies, and although the Baltic Fleet of Russia, although it is regularly exposed as a scarecrow of Scandinavia, has not been this for a long time.
      But the Swedes will not lose their good positions in the competence of submarine shipbuilding. They built and will build good nuclear submarines.
      1. Orkraider
        Orkraider 27 August 2020 20: 12
        The Baltic Fleet of Russia, although it is regularly presented as a bogeyman of Scandinavia, has not been one for a long time.

        According to the Vedomosti newspaper, on August 27, at Army 2020, contracts were signed for eight corvettes of project 20380, two corvettes of project 20385, two frigates of project 22350 ... Signed with PJSC Severnaya Verf Shipyard. If they sign, the promised amount from the ASZ will be very interesting.

        The result is an interesting alignment, BF is getting stronger.
        1. Doccor18
          Doccor18 27 August 2020 20: 53
          contracts were signed for eight project 20380 corvettes, two project 20385 corvettes, two project 22350 frigates ...

          When they are all built and the Andreevsky flag raised, then I will be glad, but the problems with the anti-submarine potential of the corvettes have not been resolved to this day. But 22350 are certainly impressive, but if they were consumed 3-4 times a year, then yes. And so they are much more needed at the Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet.
        2. Escobar
          Escobar 3 October 2020 17: 54
          An interesting alignment now, 5 submarines from VNEU, against one "diving" diesel. Or the fact that we do not have adequate anti-mine forces, which in the conditions of the Baltic has already once led to large losses in the fleet - the great patriotic, Tallinn passage. Or the fact that we do not have new anti-submarine helicopters for the new corvettes and frigates. Or the fact that we have old torpedoes for new submarines, with a cruising range 2, 2,5 times less than that of a potential enemy. Everywhere you look, everything is not brought to mind.
        3. Escobar
          Escobar 3 October 2020 18: 06
          In the same army, a contract was signed to extend the service life of Soviet torpedoes USET 80, that is, our fleet will not see new weapons
  4. antivirus
    antivirus 27 August 2020 18: 40
    give a reason to build a strait from Stockholm to Oslo. We are waiting for the entry to NATO. Swedish banks are already exporting capital across Eastern Europe, and it is necessary to go to Asia as well - this will be a pretext for a war against aggressive Swedish capital.
  5. svp67
    svp67 27 August 2020 18: 50
    An important component of the surface force is the Stridsbåt 90 multipurpose speedboats in the amount of approx. 150 units
    A substantial amount ...
  6. fn34440
    fn34440 27 August 2020 18: 57
    The situation in the Baltic has changed dramatically. Lukashenka won the election.
    A few days ago, it was announced that the military presence on Fr. Gotland. In view of the changing situation in the Baltic region, it was decided to transfer additional units of Afro-Swedes and Swedish Arabs to the coronavirus island itself and increase their combat readiness.
  7. We are for our
    We are for our 27 August 2020 18: 59
    The almost complete absence of air defense is striking, even on "corvettes" with a 40 / 57mm gun and that's it. Even with the slightest air threat, the float will be locked.
  8. Clear
    Clear 27 August 2020 20: 27
    The Swedish Navy is one of the largest and most powerful in the region

    I cried crying

    but cannot claim absolute leadership

    Calmed down a bit recourse
  9. Coconut
    Coconut 28 August 2020 00: 03
    The Swedes don't see 2 of our submarines under their very noses ... or 4 ... or maybe 6 .. laughing