Royal Swedish Navy (RSwN) Marinen
The Swedish Navy organises and trains naval and amphibious units which, in concert with air and land forces, must be capable of upholding Sweden's territorial integrity in peacetime and of defending the country against future threats, with force if necessary. These units must be capable of being used both internationally and nationally. In peacetime the Swedish Armed Forces must also be capable of being used in support of the civil community.
The Baltic Sea is an example of what is known internationally as an "extreme littoral" environment with shallow water and narrow channels. The Navy has thus for a long time been developing unique underwater, surface and above-surface capabilities to enable combat operations to be conducted in adjacent coastal and sea areas. The combatant craft [it is questionable whether anything below 1,000 tons should be called a ship] Sweden has in service are all designed for operations in the Baltic under late Cold War conditions
The Navy's international units have to be ready, once parliamentary approval has been given, to take part in military operations beyond Sweden's borders. In such cases the Navy contributes both men and materiel. For example the Navy has, since the mid-1990s, been participating in mine clearance operations in the southern Baltic off the coasts of the Baltic States. In mid-October 2006 the corvette HMS Gävle took part, as the first Swedish warship ever to do so, in the naval part of the United Nations operation UNIFIL. With the designations ML 01 and ML 02, HMS Gävle and HMS Sundsvall operated, together with a national command and support group, off the Lebanese coast. In February 2008 Swedish soldiers were deployed in Chad. The amphibious regiment, Amf 1, was tasked with establishing and training the unit. The majority of the personnel involved were recruited from AM 07, a unit already fully trained and registered.
The Swedish Navy includes units of the following types:
- Naval warfare flotillas capable of monitoring sea areas, maritime traffic and fisheries, and of engaging surface and underwater targets both in coastal waters and on the open sea, in addition to possessing a mine clearance capability.
- One submarine flotilla capable of the covert monitoring of sea areas, intelligence gathering and the engagement of both underwater and surface targets.
- One amphibious battalion capable of monitoring coastal and inshore areas and of engaging both surface and underwater targets.
- Naval base with one maritime base battalion and one maritime surveillance and information battalion capable of monitoring Swedish territorial waters and supporting other units with food and other supplies.
- Command and control unit for the coordination and command of forces composed of different units.
The Inspector General of the Swedish Navy is the most senior representative of the Swedish Navy's combat forces. Together with the Naval Staff at Armed Forces Headquarters, the Inspector General leads materiel procurement and other capability-generating activities, that is to say force development and the training of officers and national service conscripts. The Swedish Navy's tactical staff leads activities utilising these capabilities, for example in actual operations and deployments and in major exercises, both in Sweden and abroad.
In 2015 the Social Democratic Party, the Moderate Party, the Green Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats agreed on a bill to parliament on the Swedish Defence covering the years 2016 to 2020. Anti-submarine capabilities are important in order to, among others, maintain Swedish territorial integrity. A number of measures will be taken to strengthen these capabilities as soon as possible. Increased training and exercises as well as a greater redundancy in ship crews will increase anti-submarine capabilities.
The five Visby-class corvettes will be joined by two Gävle-class corvettes that will undergo midlife upgrades providing them with anti-submarine capabilities including sensors and command and control systems. Seven smaller patrol boats will be modified, including with anti-submarine weapons, and four will be rebuilt into buoy-monitoring boats, thus increasing the number of anti-submarine platforms compared to previous planning. New mobile sensors will be taken into service and mine-systems will be kept operational to ensure sensor functionality of anti-submarine capabilities.
As of 2015 the core of the naval units consisted of seven corvettes, four submarines and seven mine-clearance vessels. In the period the naval forces will maintain five Visby-class corvettes, five Koster-class mine-clearance vessels, two Spårö-class mine-clearance diver vessels, one Gotland-class as well as one Södermanland-class submarine. Midlife upgrades will be done on two Gävle-class corvettes and two Gotland-class submarines. Service life extension will be done on seven patrol boats, four patrol boats will be refitted as sonar buoy boats and two Stockholm-class corvettes will be refitted as patrol ships.
The corvette Gävle Class would have a lifetime extension of from the mid-2020s to 2030. During the period, acquisition of a new anti-ship missile as well as a new light torpedo will begin. It is especially important that the sea version of the Helicopter 14 system will become operational. An increase in the number of crews as well as increased training and exercise will allow for more sustainability and more time at sea for the naval ships. Support from the Armed Forces to the National Defence Radio Establishment with strategic SIGINT will be maintained by the acquisition of a new SIGINT vessel.
It is important that the capability and availability of the naval forces are upheld even during periods with high needs of materiel overhauls. The Amphibious Battalion will be focused on its maritime tasks. Construction of two new submarines will begin in the period.
The naval forces will consist of two Surface Warfare Flotilla Staffs, two Corvette Squadrons, two Mine-clearance Squadrons, two Support Squadrons, one Mine-clearance Diver Squadron, and one Submarine Flotilla staff, one Submarine Squadron, one Amphibious Battalion, one Patrol Boat Company and one Naval Base.
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