Sweden military has confirmed it held a second “secret” search operation for a foreign submarine in its waters back in October for a suspected underwater intruder in the Stockholm archipelago.
The hunt, not reported until now, followed a report in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter claims about a sighting of a submarine tower outside Stockholm. A submarine-hunting corvette, HMS Malmö, was secretly deployed in the waters between Lidingö Island in the inner Stockholm archipelago and Nacka Municipality on October 31.
This was just a week after Swedish armed forces called off the search for the suspected submarine first reported on October 16.
On Sunday, a military spokesman Jesper Tengroth confirmed that the Navy searched waters near the capital on Oct. 31 after receiving a tip from a "trustworthy" person. No submarine was found.
After first report, Sweden had carried out its biggest anti-submarine operation since the end of the Cold War. The week-long search after the previous sighting involved battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops scouring an area 30 to 60 kilometers (20 to 40 miles) from the capital. On October 24, the operation was called off, failing to yield any results. Swedish authorities later said there was evidence that a small submarine illegally entered Swedish waters before escaping into the Baltic Sea.
However, despite widespread speculation that the submarine was Russian, the military never identified its nationality. According to sources, the alleged submarine, spotted near the island of Stora Hoggarn northeast of Stockholm, was heading toward the capital.
The submarine hunt and a series of alleged airspace violations by Russian jets over the last year have led to increasing debate about Sweden’s military capability and to calls for the non-aligned country to consider closer NATO ties.