Home » Foreign Forces » Finns Drop Depth Charges Against ‘Possible Underwater Object’ Near Helsinki

Finns Drop Depth Charges Against ‘Possible Underwater Object’ Near Helsinki

Finnish patrol boats. Reuters Photo

Finnish patrol boats. Reuters Photo

The Finnish Navy dropped low yield depth charges near the capital of Helsinki following sightings of an object that could be a submarine that may have violated Finland’s territorial waters, according to local press reports.

“We strongly suspect that there has been underwater activity that does not belong there. Of course it is always serious if our territorial waters have been violated,” Defense minister Carl Haglund told Finnish news agency STT.

After being spotted twice on Monday by Finnish sensor nets at the edges of territorial waters, Finnish forces dropped charges to warn away the potential violators at 3 A.M. local time on Tuesday (8 P.M. EST on Monday).

“The bombs are not intended to damage the target, the purpose is to let the target know that it has been noticed,” navy operations manager Commodore Olavi Jantunen told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.
Jantunen did not speculate if the object was a submarine.
“A possible underwater object. That is the only thing we can say at the moment,” Jantunen told national broadcaster Yle on Tuesday.

Now the Finns are set to analyze the sensor data from the incidents and make a clearer determination on the object.

The incident is similar to an incident off the coast of Sweden in October.

For a week the Swedish Navy scoured its archipelago looking for what many suspect was a small Russian submarine in what was reported to be the largest Swedish military mobilization since the Cold War.

Russia has denied involvement in either incident.

Though not a member of NATO, Finland has tighter ties to Western militaries in the last year and pledged greater support to fellow Nordic nations.

  • Pingback: Finns drop depth charges after possible sub sighting off Helsinki – Financial Times « Breaking Information()

  • video360

    I find it hard to believe that any current Navy would be using depth charges. Weren’t they obsolete back in the ’70s?

    • Secundius

      @ video360.

      You’d be surprised, but many countries in the world still use a variety and in varying forms of the Depth Charges. Including the United States…

    • Ctrot

      They’re cheap, simple and they work so why not?

    • Sandy

      they are used against combat swimmers all the time….concussion grenades and depth charges…they hurt!

    • video360

      Concussion grenades, maybe. But as a US Navy veteran, with a number of years spent on (surface) warships, I have never heard of us keeping depth charges in inventory, nor using them since the early part of the Vietnam War. And I can find no reference to any other current navy using them today. If they exist, who uses them? What types are they? What nomenclature?
      All I’m aware of are torpedoes, ASROCs, and SUBROCs that are used for attacking underwater targets.

      • Secundius

        @ video360.

        There’s also ASROC, a Depth Charge with a Seeker Head and a Propulsion Unit…

        • video360

          You’re right – ASROCs too. A Mark46 torpedo attached to a rocket motor. The joke back in the day was that if we ever launched one with a “special” warhead, we’d be blown up along with the target, since the ASROC’s range was only 12 miles!

          • ghansu

            Finnish Gulf is very shallow. About 40 to 80 meters max so depth chargers and depth rockets work just fine because there aint room for sub to manouver. All Baltic countires use deph charges, doing so at pacific or atlantic would be useless.

          • Secundius

            @ ghansu.

            Both ASROC and SUBROC have a maximum operating depth of 500-meters. With the exception of Titanium Hulled Submarines, very FEW Steel Hulled Submarines can operate at that depth…

          • old guy

            Accurate. The intruder was probably a UUV. Russia has some of those.

    • Niklas Tötterman

      The point here was not to hurt the vessel, it was just to communicate that we know you are there, and now piss off. Essentially. If the intention had been to blow them out of the water the tools had been quite different.

  • MNCMNavyRetired

    Sounds like they used SUS (sound underwater signal) charges like we used to use for ASW exercises. Loud noise, not too much pressure.

  • Pingback: Opinion: Sub Discovery Media Storm Highlights Tensions Between Russia and the West | Aircrew Systems()