Swedish authorities have released images that they say are proof of a foreign incursion by a mysterious submarine, an incident first reported in October.
Underwater tracks allegedly left by the submarine were revealed in a sonar image, BBC News reports. Though the country responsible for the intrusion has yet to be identified, General Sverker Goransson, the head of Sweden’s armed forces, told a news conference that the submarine’s presence had been detected by military sensors. He cited a photo taken by a member of the public, showing a bubble pattern consistent with a diving submarine, as well as the sonar image of the underwater tracks.
“The military can confirm that a small U-boat breached Sweden’s territorial waters,” he said. “We can exclude all alternative explanations.”
— NATOSource (@NATOSource) November 14, 2014
Several sightings of an unidentified object in the waters near Stockholm in October spurred Sweden’s biggest military operation in years. As the Inquisitr previously reported, naval vessels and aircraft searched the waters near the capital, but failed to uncover the submarine. Suspicion quickly fell on Russian forces, but the country’s defense ministry has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident.
As Mashable notes, the image that purportedly reveals a diving submarine in Swedish waters was released by the armed forces.
“A picture taken by a member of the public shows an object moving at a speed of approximately 1 knot,” their statement asserted. “The picture also shows the kind of spray that arises when water is pushed out of scuttles at the top of a submarine.”
— Ian Geldard (@igeldard) November 14, 2014
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven used language that was unusually stark for a non-aligned nation when he warned against further incursions into Swedish waters.
“We will defend Sweden’s territorial integrity with all available means,” he said.
Swedish authorities have already stated that they plan to increase military spending, adding up to 70 new fighter jets and submarines to their forces as the country seeks to reverse decades of low military spending. Though not a member of NATO, Sweden has nevertheless strengthened its ties with the organization. The current government has no plans to seek NATO membership.
Lofven also noted that the length of Sweden’s coastline makes it difficult to monitor, but promised to strengthen the country’s ability to identify intruders like the foreign submarine.
[Image via BBC News]