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'Tracked' Mini Submarines in Swedish waters - 1980's

Mr London 24/7

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In the Eighties there was an infamous spate of submarine incidents in Swedish waters, apparently involving mini submarines penetrating close to shore (and even inside harbour areas). From the reports at least some of these would appear to have been fitted with Caterpillar/Tank style Tracks enabling them to crawl on the bottom (such alleged tracks were seen and photographed).

Ola Tunander's book is about the best account IMO of the intrigues going on around this time (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-War-Against-Sweden-Submarine/dp/0714682756).

Although mainstream reports would have these mini-subs as inevitably being of Soviet or Russian origin (inc. tales of seeing 'Spetsnaz' frogmen ashore and such), there was certainly more going on than met the eye and Western nations may well have been involved....

I've never been able to find pictures of such vehicles (but had a fascination at the time and still do), so quite simply: does anyone have any?, or might anyone have further to add?

In the book there is a hint of such tracked subs being possibly of Italian design?

(Nothing on NR-1 or other American mini-subs please: these are very well known)
 

quellish

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mr_london_247 said:
In the Eighties there was an infamous spate of submarine incidents in Swedish waters, apparently involving mini submarines penetrating close to shore (and even inside harbour areas). From the reports at least some of these would appear to have been fitted with Caterpillar/Tank style Tracks enabling them to crawl on the bottom (such alleged tracks were seen and photographed).

Ola Tunander's book is about the best account IMO of the intrigues going on around this time (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-War-Against-Sweden-Submarine/dp/0714682756).

Although mainstream reports would have these mini-subs as inevitably being of Soviet or Russian origin (inc. tales of seeing 'Spetsnaz' frogmen ashore and such), there was certainly more going on than met the eye and Western nations may well have been involved....

I've never been able to find pictures of such vehicles (but had a fascination at the time and still do), so quite simply: does anyone have any?, or might anyone have further to add?

In the book there is a hint of such tracked subs being possibly of Italian design?

(Nothing on NR-1 or other American mini-subs please: these are very well known)
I THINK this is what the Russian submarines turned out to be:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priz
Which matches some of the photos that were going around at the time. I have not seen any information on them actually having tracks though.
 

Mr London 24/7

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Ahh - thanks Quellish, but yes no tracks on the publicly availiable pictures at least?

Reading between the lines in Tunanders book [he concentrates on the verifiable to his credit] it appeared considerable effort was made by the Swedish Navy to catch (photograph I assume) their mystery crawling visitor - but only a picture of a set of tracks was publicly released...
 

Abraham Gubler

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I remember reading that the tracks had been found to be part of a bottom running trawler gear. Of course the Soviets did quite a few penetrations of Swedish waters but the two are not necessarily connected.
 

Mr London 24/7

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Indeed they aren't... but the point of the thread is these specific contacts [involving tracks] from that time.
 

Lauge

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mr_london_247 said:
....but only a picture of a set of tracks was publicly released...
The joke going around in Denmark (and parts of Sweden) at the time was that the tracks were most likely made by a mermaid pushing a pram........

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
 

Trident

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The incident(s) is/are mentioned, along with a generic line drawing of the tracked mini sub illustrating the Swedish ELMA-U anti-sub mortar, in "Modern Submarine Warfare" by David Miller and John Jordan, p.192 (German edition). Curiously enough, the book alleges that Pravda published photos in the 1970s! I do agree though that this was probably based on misinterpretations of various clues, with hindsight.
 

Mr London 24/7

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Trident said:
The incident(s) is/are mentioned, along with a generic line drawing of the tracked mini sub illustrating the Swedish ELMA-U anti-sub mortar, in "Modern Submarine Warfare" by David Miller and John Jordan, p.192 (German edition). Curiously enough, the book alleges that Pravda published photos in the 1970s! I do agree though that this was probably based on misinterpretations of various clues, with hindsight.
A good tip - thank you.
 

Mr London 24/7

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RAND Report "Stranger Than Fiction: Soviet Submarine Operations in Swedish Waters" quoting the Swedish "Submarine Defense Commission Report" (http://www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=t3&id=ADA238953):

The commission concluded that at least six submarines were involved in the operation in Harsfjarden sound. Three of these were believed to be mini-submarines, at least one of which was a type of tracked vehicle capable of crawling along the seabed.
 

Grey Havoc

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From a decade earlier:

The Mystery of What Happened to the AN/APR-9


Once recovered, the wreck of the aircraft and surrounding seabed were transported to Muskö Naval Base, a Swedish underground naval facility on the island of Muskö, located just south of Stockholm. The naval base is considered one of Sweden’s most secure, being carved directly into the sides of granite cliffs that jut vertically out of the water. (Today, it is largely closed with only a portion of its 20 kms of tunnels and rooms still active.) Once the recovered aircraft was at the base, a team of security professionals, among others, went to work examining the debris. Recovery specialists began to comb through the seabed to uncover any bodies and other pertinent debris that might aid in the investigation of what happened and how the aircraft was lost.

One of the key items was to recover the AN/APR-9 ELINT equipment from the aircraft. Even after the passage of five decades, the device and its potential contents (if any were still recoverable, which was doubtful) remained classified as secret. The search of the recovered surrounding seabed allowed a complete, in-depth forensic analysis of the crash site and the wreckage itself. Everything was examined closely so as to find and recover the ELINT hardware and other key equipment.

Surprisingly, there was no sign of the American-made AN/APR-9 ELINT radar intercept system. Where had it gone? Had the Soviets undertaken a secret underwater recovery during the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, perhaps using a submarine and divers to do seabed recovery? It seemed like something out of a James Bond movie, where divers approach the wreck and dismantle the electronics gear on board to take it back to the Soviet Union for secret analysis — but it was all too possible that exactly that had happened.

If this was accomplished by the Soviets, it is likely to have happened no later than in the early to mid-1970s (during that time, the US continued operating the AN/APR-9 ELINT system and it was a key piece of equipment during the Vietnam War). Such a recovery would have been an easy task for the newly deployed Soviet India Class submarine that debuted at that time. The India Class carried two IRM amphibious reconnaissance vehicles that could travel along the seabed on tracks or operate in “swimming mode” with a propeller. In fact, one of the two India Class submarines was deployed with the Northern Fleet from 1976 to 1994. The IRMs were likely to have been pioneered before the submarine was completed.

Whether or not this happened is probably something that will eventually come to light from the Soviet archives. In any case, the circumstantial evidence is compelling — most likely, the Soviets pulled off a covert intelligence coup. As any intelligence professional can attest, truth really is stranger than fiction after all.


http://fly.historicwings.com/2012/06/the-catalina-affair-part-3-of-3/
 

Mr London 24/7

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Interesting for me in several ways - Thank You Grey Havoc
 

Mr London 24/7

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As a result, some new photos for me of this possible suspect 'IRM' (DSRV 1837K?):

http://www.betasom.it/forum/index.php?showtopic=34781
 

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Mat Parry

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:eek: been a couple of excellent weeks for spf IMHO

thanks for sharing!
 

Mr London 24/7

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Bauman designed and built numerous specialty vehicles, for example, a bottom crawler, an object (torpedo?) retriever, the Manta and Aquator (circa 1978) ROVs, and Triton. No specifications were made available, but the author has the impression that they are 10- to 15-year-old systems.
http://www.wtec.org/loyola/subsea/c5_s3.htm
 

Grey Havoc

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_SWEDEN_SUBMARINE_SEARCH?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-10-17-13-00-44
 

Grey Havoc

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In relation to the incident last month (October 2014):
muttbutt said:


Sonar image of the tracks the Swedish navy found.
 

quellish

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I'm still wondering what the reasoning behind a tracked submersible for this type of mission would be. There would be plenty of drawbacks - unpredictable terrain and bottom composition, easy to foul or break the tracks, etc. and very few advantages that I could see.
 

blackstar

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quellish said:
I'm still wondering what the reasoning behind a tracked submersible for this type of mission would be. There would be plenty of drawbacks - unpredictable terrain and bottom composition, easy to foul or break the tracks, etc. and very few advantages that I could see.
If you're already on the bottom you cannot run aground...
 

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I think 'tracked' is misleading, it sounds too much like tank tracks. It could be wheels (like the retired NR1) or just the scraping of a keel.
 

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blackstar said:
quellish said:
I'm still wondering what the reasoning behind a tracked submersible for this type of mission would be. There would be plenty of drawbacks - unpredictable terrain and bottom composition, easy to foul or break the tracks, etc. and very few advantages that I could see.
If you're already on the bottom you cannot run aground...
And, perhaps more important in shallow waters, you cannot break the surface unintentionally. For such operations,
the topograhy of the target region probably is quite well known, so moving on the ground shouldn't be a real
problem, I think and maybe it would reduce acoustic signature, too, or at least change it to an uncommon/unknown
one, that isn't quickly associated with a sub.
 

blackstar

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Jemiba said:
blackstar said:
quellish said:
I'm still wondering what the reasoning behind a tracked submersible for this type of mission would be. There would be plenty of drawbacks - unpredictable terrain and bottom composition, easy to foul or break the tracks, etc. and very few advantages that I could see.
If you're already on the bottom you cannot run aground...
And, perhaps more important in shallow waters, you cannot break the surface unintentionally. For such operations,
the topograhy of the target region probably is quite well known, so moving on the ground shouldn't be a real
problem, I think and maybe it would reduce acoustic signature, too, or at least change it to an uncommon/unknown
one, that isn't quickly associated with a sub.
Those are good points. I don't know anything about this, so I'm just guessing. But it could be a way of staying on the bottom while not hitting the bottom. And it may offer precision of navigation (you can stop and stay in one spot) and quieting.
 

TomS

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Also, if you're trying to move against a current, having traction against the bottom is a lot more energy efficient that being buoyant.
 

muttbutt

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According to a translation of some Swedish coverage, they think they sub was just 10 metres long.

That's kinda small?.
 

TomS

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muttbutt said:
According to a translation of some Swedish coverage, they think they sub was just 10 metres long.

That's kinda small?.
It's about typical for swimmer delivery vehicles or similar mini-subs carried by a larger mother ship.
 

muttbutt

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TomS said:
muttbutt said:
According to a translation of some Swedish coverage, they think they sub was just 10 metres long.

That's kinda small?.
It's about typical for swimmer delivery vehicles or similar mini-subs carried by a larger mother ship.
For a wetsub (if it was a wetsub) they stayed down and on the move for quite a while :eek:

Might be something new.
 

TomS

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BNot necessarily wet. There's a Soviet DSRV that's around 13 meters, so that's in the right ballpark. (Obviously this isn't a Deep Sumbergence application, but the scale is right.)
 

muttbutt

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TomS said:
BNot necessarily wet. There's a Soviet DSRV that's around 13 meters, so that's in the right ballpark. (Obviously this isn't a Deep Sumbergence application, but the scale is right.)
All true. what were the old Project 865 dry minisubs length...almost 30 metres?
If this was the Russians they seem to have something they have kept under wraps.
 

Mr London 24/7

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covert_shores said:
I think 'tracked' is misleading, it sounds too much like tank tracks. It could be wheels (like the retired NR1) or just the scraping of a keel.

With respect - I disagree.

The specific purpose of this thread was the 1980's sightings, which were specifically alleged as a Tracked (and not wheeled) vehicle. Indeed Swedish Navy/Defence Ministry termed the intruder as such themselves. Although very young in the 80's... ( ;) ) I recall grainy photo or video of the same from the time. Although there were reports of Keel imprints left on the bottom (by larger submersible(s)) I don't believe there were any of a 'Wheeled' vehicle. Therefore I would suggest the term stands.


My hope was (given the passage of time) that it might be possible (if true) to identify such a Vehicle now. Tunanders book supposed that such a vehicle may be able to 'jump' in the water column over obstacles it encountered whilst crawling the bottom. Although there are one or two example images in previous pages I would not of course propose any so far as the alleged culprit.

In regards 2014 sightings made in other Posts, my dear Grey Havoc started a better thread: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23017.0.html
 

covert_shores

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to clarify, I was responding specifically to the image posted re 2014 submarine scare.


re 'tracked' submersibles in 1980s, I must confess I wasn't aware of clarity regarding terminology. For sure people interpreted as tracked like a tank,and that is a possibility. Tunandar at one point proposed that it as NR-1 although we was not aware a the time that NR-1's wheels were in tandem. The main reason, as I understand it, for NR-1 to have wheels was because they wanted to survey the seabed visually so it was much easier than trying to 'fly' that close. Other submersibles designed for finding thins on the bottom didn't have any wheels or anything however. A lot of submersibles, including Russian ones, have skids or frames on the bottom which would leave track marks. Maybe one day we will know for sure but in the meantime there's a lot of mud in the water. :D
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html (Registration may be required.)


(From 2013. All hail our overlord!)
 

phil gollin

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.


Is this the same USA which has admitted to tapping into underseas cables in the past ?
 

TomS

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Sure. If the Soviets had known what we were up to with the cables, they'd have been concerned too.
 

Grey Havoc

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TomS said:
Sure. If the Soviets had known what we were up to with the cables, they'd have been concerned too.
They did find out eventually, thanks to some very well placed spies.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/in-1980s-we-called-this-monday.html​
 

Mr London 24/7

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http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1983/eirv10n19-19830517/eirv10n19-19830517_039-submarine_warfare_in_scandinavia.pdf

On April 26, the Swedish Submarine Defense Commission completed a report on Swedish defense capabilities against alien submarines, and the nature of a series of submarine invasions which occurred in heavy density during October 1981. Excerpts from the report follow.
Tracks on the sea floor have been found in the area around Hors Bay-Mysingen Bay:
In Hors Bay, i.e., in Djupviken and Maersgam and in the strait between Huvudholmen and Alvasta LaanghQlm.
Tracks have been found outside of Danziger Gatt.
Tracks have been found in the northern part of Mysingen Bay.
As is shown by the video-photographic material [accom­panying the report], these tracks indicate two different vari­eties of sea floor tracks, both coming from mini-submarines and, on top of this, tracks from a sea-floor-parked conven­tional submarine.
The documented tracks indicate two different types of mini-submarines. At certain locations tracks have been found indicating a caterpillar tread vehicle, while other tracks in­dicate keel scratches on the sea floor by another type of mini­ submarine.
At one location outside of Malsten (just outside the magnetic tripwire) a large number of tracks have been found, tracks of both types of mini-submarines as well as sea floor scratches of a conventional submarine thought to have been functioning as the "mother ship".
A careful evaluation of the information from the sea floor shows that the mini-submarines have been manned, and that they can travel "floating" under water, propelled by a pro­peller or driven by caterpillar treads on the sea floor
 

TomS

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I would be very skeptical of anything published by Lyndon Larouch's organization, especially in the EIR, which famously accused Queen Elizabeth II of running an international drug trafficking ring and claimed that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was orchestrated by the British government as part of a plot to take over the United States.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Intelligence_Review#Criticism
 

Mr London 24/7

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Indeed, both wacko theories no doubt... but my interest was the embedded quote taken from the the Swedish Submarine Defense Commission.

For me anything from Wikipedia also *not great*...
 

TomS

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Larouche's wackiness is easily confirmed from other places. Wiki just happens to be a convenient summary.

My concern would be that the excerpts may have been taken very selectively. Without the original to compare against, you can't even be sure it hasn't be altered.
 
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