Swedish Navy
Overview
 
The Royal Swedish Navy is the naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 branch of the Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish Armed Forces
The Swedish Armed Forces is a Swedish Government Agency responsible for the operation of the armed forces of the Realm. The primary task of the agency is to train, organize and to deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the Realm in the...

. It is composed of surface and submarine naval units – the Fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

(Flottan) – as well as marine units, the so-called Amphibious Corps
Swedish Amphibious Corps
Amfibiekåren is the coastal defence arm of the Swedish Navy. Until 2000 it was known as Kustartilleriet , but the name was changed to reflect its different role in a post-Cold War world, where its amphibious special operations arm, "Kustjägarna", has grown in significance while its coastal...

(Amfibiekåren).

In Swedish, vessels of the Swedish Navy are given the prefix
Ship prefix
A ship prefix is a combination of letters, usually abbreviations, used in front of the name of a civilian or naval ship.Prefixes for civilian vessels may either identify the type of propulsion, such as "SS" for steamship, or purpose, such as "RV" for research vessel. Civilian prefixes are often...

 "HMS," short for Hans/Hennes Majestäts Skepp (His/Her Majesty's Ship). In correct English "HSwMS" (for "His Swedish Majesty's Ship") is used for Royal Swedish Navy ships when it is necessary to differentiate them from vessels from Her Britannic Majesty's Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

.
The old Swedish kings (ca.
Encyclopedia
The Royal Swedish Navy is the naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 branch of the Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish Armed Forces
The Swedish Armed Forces is a Swedish Government Agency responsible for the operation of the armed forces of the Realm. The primary task of the agency is to train, organize and to deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the Realm in the...

. It is composed of surface and submarine naval units – the Fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

(Flottan) – as well as marine units, the so-called Amphibious Corps
Swedish Amphibious Corps
Amfibiekåren is the coastal defence arm of the Swedish Navy. Until 2000 it was known as Kustartilleriet , but the name was changed to reflect its different role in a post-Cold War world, where its amphibious special operations arm, "Kustjägarna", has grown in significance while its coastal...

(Amfibiekåren).

In Swedish, vessels of the Swedish Navy are given the prefix
Ship prefix
A ship prefix is a combination of letters, usually abbreviations, used in front of the name of a civilian or naval ship.Prefixes for civilian vessels may either identify the type of propulsion, such as "SS" for steamship, or purpose, such as "RV" for research vessel. Civilian prefixes are often...

 "HMS," short for Hans/Hennes Majestäts Skepp (His/Her Majesty's Ship). In correct English "HSwMS" (for "His Swedish Majesty's Ship") is used for Royal Swedish Navy ships when it is necessary to differentiate them from vessels from Her Britannic Majesty's Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

.

History

The old Swedish kings (ca. 9th-14th centuries) organised a Swedish Royal Navy along the coastline via an organisation referred to as "ledungen". These would be combined rowing and sailing ships (without artillery). This organisation became obsolete with the development of society and warfare. Probably no later than in the 14th century, the duty to serve in "ledungen" was replaced by tax. In 1427, when Sweden was still part of the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...

 (with Denmark and Norway), Swedish warships did however participate in the naval battle of Öresund
Battle of the Sound
The naval Battle of the Sound took place on 8 November 1658 during the Second Northern War, near the Sound or Oresund, just north of the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Sweden had defeated Denmark and an army under Charles X of Sweden had Copenhagen itself under siege...

 (the Sound) against the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

. It is unclear how this force was organised and exactly on what basis.

On June 7, 1522, one year after the separation of Sweden from the Kalmar Union, Gustav Vasa
Gustav I of Sweden
Gustav I of Sweden, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known simply as Gustav Vasa , was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death....

 purchased a number of ships from the hanseatic
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 town of Lübeck
Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

 which is often recorded in official Swedish history since the 19th century as the birth of the current Swedish Navy. (The museum ship Vasa in Stockholm was e.g. a 17th-century ship of the Royal Swedish Navy (Kungliga flottan)).

The Amphibious Corps dates back to January 1, 1902, when a separate "Coastal Artillery" (Kustartilleriet
Swedish coastal artillery
The Swedish coastal artillery has its origin in the Archipelago Artillery that was raised in 1866. The Coastal Artillery was formed from the Archipelago Artillery, the Marine Regiment and parts of the Artillery in 1902...

) was established, and Marinen came into use as the name of the service as a whole. The last decade of the 20th century saw the abandonment of the coastal fortifications and the force became a more regular marine corps, renamed Amfibiekåren (the Swedish Amphibious Corps) in 2000.

Organization

Until recently, the Navy was led by the Chief of the Navy (Chefen för Marinen, CM), who was typically a Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

. This office has been eliminated, and the highest officer of the Navy is now the Chief of Staff Royal Swedish Navy and Commander Maritime Component Command (Marininspektören), Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist, who is the senior representative of the Swedish Navy’s combat forces.

The Marine units uses the same system of rank as the Army
Swedish Army
The Swedish Army is one of the oldest standing armies in the world and a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces; it is in charge of land operations. General Sverker Göranson is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Army.- Organization :...

.

Naval units

  • 1st Submarine Flotilla (1. ubflj) located at Karlskrona
    Karlskrona
    Karlskrona is a locality and the seat of Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, Sweden with 35,212 inhabitants in 2010. It is also the capital of Blekinge County. Karlskrona is known as Sweden's only baroque city and is host to Sweden's only remaining naval base and the headquarters of the...

  • 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla (3. sjöstridsflj) located at Karlskrona
    Karlskrona
    Karlskrona is a locality and the seat of Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, Sweden with 35,212 inhabitants in 2010. It is also the capital of Blekinge County. Karlskrona is known as Sweden's only baroque city and is host to Sweden's only remaining naval base and the headquarters of the...

  • 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla (4. sjöstridsflj) located at Berga.

Bases

  • Karlskrona naval base
    Karlskrona naval base
    Karlskrona naval base is the largest naval base of the Swedish Navy located in Blekinge in southern Sweden. The naval base has intimate ties with the city of Karlskrona. It has an exceptionally well sheltered location: arcs of islands provide a strong defense not only from the sea but also from...

     (MarinB) located at Karlskrona
    Karlskrona
    Karlskrona is a locality and the seat of Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, Sweden with 35,212 inhabitants in 2010. It is also the capital of Blekinge County. Karlskrona is known as Sweden's only baroque city and is host to Sweden's only remaining naval base and the headquarters of the...

     with detachments at Berga, Göteborg and Skredsvik.

Equipment

In the decades following World War II, the Swedish Navy was organised around three light cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 groups . In the early 1960s a decision was implemented to scrap the cruisers and move towards a lighter fleet. The last cruiser, Göta Lejon, was sold in 1970 to Chile, where she was renamed Almirante Latorre. The fleet at the time comprised some 24 destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s and frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s for surface warfare (mainly in the Baltic Sea) and anti-submarine warfare.

The Swedish Navy started to experiment with missiles, based on a recovered German V-2 missile, as early as 1944. The main armament of the fleet was artillery and torpedoes for surface warfare and anti-submarine rockets for anti-submarine warfare. Helicopters (Alouette, Boeing Vertol) were introduced in the late 1950s and 1960s and this fleet air arm remained an integral part of the fleet and its operations until an independent helicopter arm was created in 1990s.

In 1972 the government decided to scrap all military protection of merchant shipping to allow the de-commissioning of all destroyers and frigates. This limited the endurance of the navy considerably, but the use of smaller short-range ships was at the time deemed adequate by the government for anti-shipping missions along the coast and in the archipelago. In the 1980s this assessment was proven wrong by repeated failures by the Swedish Navy in anti-submarine warfare operations with inadequate ships and equipment. Today the largest (surface) combat ships are corvette
Corvette
A corvette is a small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, originally smaller than a frigate and larger than a coastal patrol craft or fast attack craft , although many recent designs resemble frigates in size and role...

s which combine surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine clearance functions with a better endurance and seaworthiness than the budget fleet from the 1980s.

Since the 1980s Swedish surface warships have been named after Swedish cities, while submarines are named after Swedish provinces
Provinces of Sweden
The provinces of Sweden, landskap, are historical, geographical and cultural regions. Sweden has 25 provinces and they have no administrative function, but remain historical legacies and the means of cultural identification....

 and minehunters after Swedish lighthouses. The surface ships are mostly small, relying on agility and flexibility. Examples of these are the Stockholm and Göteborg class corvettes. The Navy is currently taking into service the new, larger, Visby
Visby class corvette
The Visby is the latest class of corvette to be adopted by the Royal Swedish Navy after the Göteborg and the Stockholm class corvettes. The ship's design heavily emphasizes "low visibility" or stealth technology. The first ship in the class is named after Visby, the main city on the island of Gotland...

 class of stealth
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 corvettes. A new submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 class, Gotland
Gotland class submarine
In 2004, the Swedish government received a request from the United States of America to lease HMS Gotland – Swedish-flagged, commanded and manned, for a duration of one year for use in anti-submarine warfare exercises. The Swedish government granted this request in October 2004, with both...

, similar to the older Västergötland
Västergötland class submarine
The Västergötland class of diesel-electric submarines was introduced in 1987 by the Swedish Navy. The original four ships of her class, HMS Västergötland, HMS Hälsingland, HMS Södermanland and HMS Östergötland, were built between 1983 and 1988 by Kockums AB...

, has recently been commissioned. Its air-independent
Air-independent propulsion
Air-independent propulsion is a term that encompasses technologies which allow a submarine to operate without the need to surface or use a snorkel to access atmospheric oxygen. The term usually excludes the use of nuclear power, and describes augmenting or replacing the diesel-electric propulsion...

 Stirling engine
Stirling engine
A Stirling engine is a heat engine operating by cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas, the working fluid, at different temperature levels such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work....

 enables submerged endurance never before seen in conventional submarines
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

. The Gotland has been on lease with crew and all to the US Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and was based in San Diego.

The Marine Battalion is built around the Stridsbåt 90H
Combat Boat 90
Combat Boat 90 is a class of fast military assault craft originally developed for the Swedish Navy by Dockstavarvet. In addition to the many variants in service with the Swedish Navy under the Strb 90 H designation, the CB 90 has been adopted by the navies of several countries, including Norway ,...

, a small combat boat capable of carrying 21 troops for fast transports and landings in the archipelago. It is also equipped with larger transport boats, but relies on the army, navy and air force for heavy transports and protection.

Surface vessels

Corvettes

Class Number
of ships
Builder Origin Notes
2 Karlskronavarvet AB
Kockums
Kockums AB is a shipyard in Malmö, Sweden owned by the German shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel. HDW itself is a subsidiary of the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems....

 
4 Karlskronavarvet AB
5 Karlskronavarvet AB 2 commissioned

Minesweeper

Class Number
of ships
Builder Origin
5 Karlskronavarvet AB
Kockums
Kockums AB is a shipyard in Malmö, Sweden owned by the German shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel. HDW itself is a subsidiary of the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems....

 
2 Karlskronavarvet AB
4 Karlskronavarvet AB

Patrol Boat

Class Number
of ships
Builder Origin
Tapper class
Tapper class patrol boat
The Tapper class are a class of Swedish patrol boats. From 1993-1999 12 ships were constructed and entered service with the Swedish navy and amphibious corps. Tappers first function is to protect and patrol the Swedish coast waters. Its armament includes 12.7 mm heavy machine guns,...

 
12 Djupviks varv 
1

Combat Boat

  • Stridsbåt 90
    Combat Boat 90
    Combat Boat 90 is a class of fast military assault craft originally developed for the Swedish Navy by Dockstavarvet. In addition to the many variants in service with the Swedish Navy under the Strb 90 H designation, the CB 90 has been adopted by the navies of several countries, including Norway ,...

     (187 in service)
  • Stridsbåt 90E (5 in service)

Auxiliary vessels

  • Landing craft
    Landing craft
    Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

    • ~100
  • Auxiliary vessels (Ocean Patrol Vessel and Support Vessel (former Mine Layer M04)- participated in EUNAVFOR operation ATALANTA off the Horn of Africa in 2010)

} (Älvsborg-class support vessel, decommissioned)
    • (modified Russian Akademik Shuleykin class) patrol craft tender
    • (minelayer)
    • (minelayer)
    • (minelayer)
    • (minelayer)
    • (submarine salvage vessel)
    • (dive tender)
  • 2 Torpedo salvage vessels
  • Transport ships
  • SIGINT
    SIGINT
    Signals intelligence is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether between people , whether involving electronic signals not directly used in communication , or combinations of the two...

     vessels

School ships

  • Schooner
    Schooner
    A schooner is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts....

    s

  • Ships for navigation education
    • HMS M20 - used as a museum ship (see the external link below)
    • - decommissioned
    • - decommissioned
    • - decommissioned, new owner Strömstads gymnasium (high school)

Strategy

For many years the Swedish Navy was built around mainly two tasks, to stop a full-scale invasion over the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and protection of Swedish merchant shipping (Sweden's geographical location on the Scandinavian peninsula effectively makes it an island. 90% of all import and export to Sweden is performed by merchant shipping). In 1972, the government at the time however decreed that other measures than military should protect merchant shipping (no details were ever disclosed what those "other measures than military" would actually consist of).

Today the navy is changing rapidly. With the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 it is argued that the only viable threat in the local area disappeared . However, with the re-armament of Russia, its unstable democratic development, and the potentially increased strategic importance of the Baltic Sea, there are voices that Sweden needs to patrol the Baltic Sea. From 1995, Sweden and Swedish mine-clearance units furthermore took the lead in clearing the waters of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from thousands of mines and other explosives.

The army
Swedish Army
The Swedish Army is one of the oldest standing armies in the world and a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces; it is in charge of land operations. General Sverker Göranson is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Army.- Organization :...

 and air force
Swedish Air Force
The Swedish Air Force is the air force branch of the Swedish Armed Forces.-History:The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 when the aircraft units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganized and expanded...

 have a presence in UN missions. The Swedish Navy has four rapidly deployable units on 30 days standby. These are a corvette squadron (two Göteborg class) with a support ship, a minecountermeasures squadron (two Landsort class) with a support ship, one submarine, and a forward naval support element. In the near future there will also be an amphibious unit on 30 days standby.

The Swedish naval UN operation started in October 2006 when the corvette HMS Gävle joined the United Nations Mission in Lebanon, UNIFIL for surveillance missions along the coast of Lebanon. HMS Gävle was relieved by , which returned to Sweden in September 2007.

HMS Malmö, HMS Stockholm and HMS Trossö took part in the EUNAVFOR operation outside Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...



In 2010 HMS Carlskrona
HMS Carlskrona
HMS Carlskrona is the largest vessel in the Swedish Navy with 105,7 meters . Second largest is Belos, the submarine rescue vessel, with 104,9 meters . She was originally designed as a minelayer also used for exercise expeditions...

 was representing the Royal Swedish Navy in the EUNAVFOR which was the flagship the EUNAVFOR housing the FHQ led by RADM (LH)(Flottiljamiral) Jan Thörnqvist

See also

  • Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences
    Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences
    The Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences or Kungl. Örlogsmannasällskapet, founded in 1771 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies in Sweden. The Society is an independent organization and a forum for navy and defence issues. Fellowship is limited to 120 chairs under the age of 60.-...

  • Leidang
    Leidang
    The institution known as leiðangr , leidang , leding, , ledung , expeditio or sometimes lething , was a public levy of free farmers typical for medieval Scandinavians. It was a form of conscription to organise coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm...

  • List of Swedish wars
  • List of Swedish military commanders
  • List of Swedish monarchs
  • List of ships of the Swedish Navy
  • List of Swedish steam battleships
  • Swedish Admirals
    Admiral (Sweden)
    Admiral is a naval rank in Sweden. According to current practice only royalties and the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, if he were to come from the Swedish Navy, has the rank of full, four star, Admiral in Sweden...


External links

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