In some additional anti-Russian hysteria, an alleged secret Russian submarine operation was taking part along the shores of Norway, local outlet NRK reported.
The idea, reportedly, was to show that “Russia can reach the United States.” Namely, to show that they can defend their actual and alleged bases and also threaten the US’ east coast.
According to the outlet, this was the largest Russian submarine operation since the early 1990s and the Cold War days.
The operation allegedly started in the week before October 27th and involves around 10 submarines, 8 of them being nuclear powered. It was reportedly under way during the Finnmark meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The goal for some of the submarines is to get as far out into the Atlantic as possible without being discovered. The entire voyage from the Northern Fleet bases in the Murmansk region has been submerged.
Without specifying any names, NRK says that the Norwegian intelligence says that it had “a reasonably good idea” of where the submarines were located.
The alleged Russian operation was the reason why there was a lot of flying activity at the Armed Forces air station in Andøya. Surveillance aircraft were in the air to monitor the presumed Russian operation.
- Two nuclear submarines are located west of Bjørnøya, which lies between Svalbard and the Finnmark coast. Two Submarines are located south and east of Bjørnøya, and are located there to guard the entrance to the eastern Barents Sea.
- Two Sierra-class nuclear submarines are also participating in the northern Norwegian Sea, primarily to test how suitable they are to operate in deep water, and to test new weapons in the Norwegian Sea.
The entire submarine operation was, as NRK reported, intended to last for at least 60 days.
According to the unnamed source in the Norwegian intelligence service, Russia’s goal is to show that they are able to threaten the US east coast – by getting as far out into the Atlantic as possible. This means that they must pass the so-called GIUK gap, which is the line between the UK, Iceland and Greenland. The ultimate goal for parts of the operation is to come west of Greenland, according to the outlet.
Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said the Russian submarine operation was no surprise.
“This fits in with the trend we have seen with increased Russian activity. We see a Russia that has modernized its military forces and is increasingly practicing and operating near Norway,” Bakke-Jensen said.
He said this was clear evidence of the need to strengthen the Armed Forces.
“In order for us to be able to influence national and regional security, we must have a military capability to monitor and operate in the Northern Territories, both alone and with allies. This is the reason why the government has invested significantly in strengthening the Armed Forces, he told the NRK.
Defense expert and researcher Ståle Ulriksen at the Naval War School said it may look like one half of the force is deployed to close the gap between Finnmark, Bjørnøya and Svalbard.
“The two conventional submarines will then normally operate closest to Norway. In the traditional bastion defense concept, the other submarines will enter the gap between Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom (GIUK) to block this,” Ulriksen said.
He further added some more speculation.
“This is basically a strategic defensive course of action. But it is also very possible that the goal may be to go much further into the Atlantic. In that case, this will create enormous uncertainty for NATO’s supply lines. It will primarily be the brand-new submarines that are suitable for this,” Ulriksen told NRK.
Essentially, there’s no evidence provided, no photographs or anything of the sort, there is one sentence by the Defense Minister saying that such an operation wouldn’t be surprising, but no actual confirmation of one.
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