PHOTO] north to investigate. The Russian ships,
which stayed out Norwegian territorial waters (just barely) proceeded to use
their sonar on the Norwegian subs. It's unclear if the Russians were able to
find the Norwegian boats often, because these subs are acknowledged by other
NATO navies as the most difficult to find when submerged.
Increasing Russian air and naval
activity off Norway's north coast (in the Bering Sea) has prompted Norway to
send some of its Ula Class submarines [
The six Ula Class subs were built in Germany
between 1987-92. They displace 1050 tons and are 194 feet long. With a crew of
21, they have eight torpedo tubes and 14 torpedoes. Surface speed is about 20
kilometers an hour, submerged speed is 42 kilometers an hour. They can stay at
sea for about three weeks at a time. Their small size makes them particularly
hard to detect submerged, and the Russians may be finding that out, or not. The
Ulas are being upgraded with new electronics and sensors, which makes them
better able to sneak around and just listen to the Russian ships above. Ulas
can stay under water for about two days, if they don't move around much.
Whatever the Ulas do discover, probably won't be made public, and only shared
with some NATO allies. The Ulas are expected to remain in service until 2020.