The Swedish government has granted permission for the United States of America
to lease a Gotland-class submarine for a period of twelve months (a year),
including the crew, to participate in joint exercises with the US Navy. The
Gotland-class submarine will be allocated to naval operations in both coasts of
the continental United States.
The agreement between both countries will allow Swedish Navy to improve
interoperability with allied navies when participating in international
peacekeeping operations. The lease contract is expected to run from the first
half of 2005 until the first half of 2006 with the Gotland-class submarine
operating from US Navy's bases in the United States of America. According to the
Swedish government, this agreement will yield improvements for Sweden in the
area of submarine systems development, sensor development, and advanced
materials development as offset.
of the keys of the Gotland-class submarines design is the Stirling
Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, which enables the boat to remain
submerged for several weeks without snorkel. Moreover, stealth features provide
excellent combat performance even against the most capable surface ships. In
fact, it has been reported that the US government pursued this agreement due to
impressive results scored by Swedish submarines in joint exercises with the US
Navy fleet. The Swedish press refers to this agreement as the result of the US
Navy failure to track down a Gotland submarine during a joint naval exercise.
The Gotland-class submarines have been optimized for operation in shallow waters
of the littoral environment where typically large-sized nuclear-powered
submarines perform poorly. The US Navy envisages the littoral environment as the
most likely scenario to suffer a terrorist attack. This already happened in
October 2000 when the USS Cole (DDG 67) was attacked by an explosive boat at Aden harbor
The Swedish government rendered the green light for this agreement on October
28, 2004, after intense negotiations with US representatives. It is expected
that the joint naval exercises will be initiated as early as the first half of
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