Sources in the Norwegian Armed Forces confirm that Russian submarines have intensified training activities in areas outside the Norwegian coast. Orion aircrafts have dropped listening equipment to find the vessel.
Meanwhile, it is likely that also Norwegian subs have have stepped up intelligence against facilities on the Russian side of the border.
According to Aftenposten, the Norwegian Armed Forces do not want to comment on the information. However, Deputy Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide confirms that Russia has stepped up military activities in the North both in the air and under water. He also confirms that the Russian subs have operated in “sensitive areas” along the coast. He does still not want to dramatize the situation. –They are not doing anything illegal. They want to signal that they are interested in important areas and that they have military capacities, he says.
The submarine activities come amid a surge in Russian military flying in the area. According to Aftenposten, the Norwegian Air Force has identified 74 Russian aircrafts the last half year.
Russia currently has about 20 submarines in operation in the Northern Fleet, based on several sites along the Kola Peninsula.