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Sweden sends new submarines to Baltic Sea to confront Russia

Sweden sends new submarines to Baltic Sea to confront Russia Sweden sends new submarines to Baltic Sea to confront Russia (photo: Getty Images)

Sweden will send two new submarines to the Baltic Sea to confront Russia, states Politico.

The new 66-meter diesel-electric submarines, named Blekinge and Skåne after two Swedish counties and designed to patrol NATO's eastern borders in the Baltic Sea, will be launched in 2027 and 2028.
These are the first new submarines built by Sweden since the mid-1990s, and they will join four older ships in the Scandinavian nation's fleet.

The upcoming Swedish launches highlight the submarine fleet renewal in Northern Europe, where the Norwegian Navy recently ordered four new submarines from Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

The Netherlands has received proposals from TKMS, Saab Kockums, and France's Naval Group for the construction of four submarines, while Denmark, which got rid of its fleet in 2004, recently suggested that it might abandon the move.

According to a report by the Swedish Defense Research Agency, this expansion will partially close the gap with NATO's largest European fleets, which are set to grow slightly this decade. Six new French Barracuda-class submarines are entering service, and two more Type 212s will join the existing German fleet of six. By the end of the decade, the UK fleet will have seven Astute-class submarines, and the Italian Todaro-class fleet will have eight.

The renewal of the European fleet takes place against the backdrop of Russia's PR campaign to replenish its own fleet. Last December, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin posed in the dock at the Belomorsk submarine factory in Severodvinsk with two new ships, the Krasnoyarsk and the Emperor Alexander the Third.

According to a Swedish report, the Russian Navy will have 50 submarines in 2030.

The size of the U.S. submarine fleet will be slightly reduced to 57 units by 2030, but the further commissioning of new Virginia-class submarines will allow the United States to maintain and even increase its technological advantage over its competitors in the same period.