April 29, 2015

Suspected Russian Mini-Submarine Near Helsinki, Finland

Indicating where suspected Russian mini-submarines were detected near Helsinki Harbour (late April 2015) and near Stockholm (October 2014 and January 2015).
Helsinki Harbour. Suspected Russian (probably) mini-submarine detected late April 2015. There would probably be sea-floor anti-submarine sensors arrays outside Helsinki Harbour (like Sweden's Malsten array). 

There were many reports in the world media on April 28-29, 2015 that Finland's Navy had detected what was assumed to be a Russian submarine within Finland's territorial waters off Helsinki.

HNGN, April 28, 2015 reported: "Our sensors detected something, an uncertain underwater object, at lunchtime on Monday April 27, 2015] and then again overnight," Captain Olavi Jantunen told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, reported the Guardian. "Three [grenade] charges were dropped, but they were warning charges, with a light burst, meant to warn rather than do any harm to the object."

Jantunen said it's impossible to determine what the object was until a complete analysis has been performed on the sensor data, which could take as long as three weeks [takes about 3 minutes], according to the Guardian.

The [Finnish] defense ministry issued the following statement: "As part of the tasks to protect territorial integrity, the maritime surveillance system alerted the Finnish Navy of a possible underwater target around midday on 27 April 2015. The possible target was located within territorial waters, close to the limit of territorial waters off Helsinki. A search was then conducted by surface vessels."...


The (probably) Russian mini-submarine or large diameter unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) may be there to "trip" or test Finnish sensors or to make Finland politically nervous. This is like the Russian aircraft incursions - part of Putin's confrontational style. The mini-submarine may be a development of Russia's Losos-Pirana.

The Finnish Navy would have determined very quickly - via tell-tale sensor "signatures" - what type of undersea craft has trespassed Finland's territorial waters. For diplomatic-political reasons Finland would not accuse the trespasser, particularly if it is powerful and combative Russia. Though part of the European Union Finland maintains a careful neutral policy.

 The "sensors" used to alert the Finnish Navy may be hydrophones, magnetic anomally and other wireless or fixed sea-floor arrays deployed inside Finland's territorial waters. Nokia Data Systems equipped the Finnish military with an integrated coastal surveillance system - according to a late 1990s report. This system would now be very high-tech with many of the sensor uprgrades and increased computer processing power available today. Even quite a small mini-submarine or LDUUV might be detected. Sweden's has its own Malsten Station array which would most probably have been  much improved since the 1980s.

The grenades used may be Saab ASW-601s [right-click mouse to translate into English] fitted to multiple grenade launchers on such Finnish vessels as the Hamina class missile boats. These grenades may have been aimed away from the suspected submarine/LDUUV or have adjustable burst features.

See Submarine Matters reports of October 25, 2015 and January 15, 2015 on Sweden's late 2014-early 2015 experience of suspected Russian mini-submarines or LDUUVs.


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