US Navy Leasing Swedish Gotland-Class Submarine

Released on Friday, November 5, 2004
United States of America
DDG 51 Flight I
AIP - Air Independent Propulsion
USS - United States Ship
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.

One 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 in Yemen.

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 2005.


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