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.