German, Swedish Navy in cat and mouse games off Swedish coast

Photo: Swedish Defence Forces

Only weeks after visiting her Swedish Navy counterparts from the Royal Swedish Navy’s 31. corvette squadron, German Navy corvette FGS Ludwigshafen am Rhein joined six Swedish ships for a series of maneuvers and drills.

In one of the drills, Ludwigshafen am Rhein was to try and enter Swedish coastal waters as far as possible without being detected by “adversaries”. At the same time, the corvette was additionally expected to detect and destroy at least two of the six corvettes.

The German corvette captain had a strategy for success. The ship and crew were to hide in the thick commercial vessel traffic off Bornholm until the way to the north was clear and the positions of “enemy” ships determined. The Ludwigshafen am Rhein closed in on her targets and minutes later fired four RBS 15 Mk 3 anti-ship missiles “destroying” Swedish Navy units. The German Navy did not say how many Swedish corvettes were destroyed, but it noted that Ludwigshafen am Rhein remained undetected for two hours.

This was just one of the drills the two navies conducted. In other exercises, both German and Swedish units formed a single task force and practiced interoperability.

“We have a similar weapon systems for surface warfare and a similar way of thinking. The close proximity and a comparable range of tasks makes Sweden an ideal partner,” German Navy’s 1st Corvette Squadron commander, Frigate Captain Sascha Zarthe, said.

Sweden and Germany are deepening their cooperation in the Baltic Sea. Last month, Ludwigshafen am Rhein visited Sweden for drills with Swedish Visby-class corvette HMS Härnösand.

 

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