Vanishing Swedish Vessels: An Ongoing Mystery

Swedish coastal defense battleship HSwMS Gustav V, using extensive camouflage, a serious tactic used to great extent by the Swedes, especially for air defense

The Swedish navy has had a long history of camouflaging their ships while hidden next to rocky isolated inlets and islands, even large capital ships.

The above, with the ship highlighted after the fact

In a nation with rugged, stony terrain stretching along a 2,000-mile Baltic coastline, Sweden’s strategy of blending its modest fleet of under 100 warships into the natural landscape is quite plausible. This is achieved through the clever use of tarps and foliage for additional concealment.

Continuing this tradition, Sweden employs Saab’s advanced Barracuda Camouflage system. Originally designed for tanks and vehicles, this system is effective not just visually, but also in obscuring 90% of near-infrared (NIR), shortwave infrared (SWIR), thermal infrared (TIR), and broadband radar signals.

Observe the transformation of a 52-foot Stridsbåt 90 H(alv)/Combat Boat 90 (CB90) – a rapid assault craft from Dockstavarvet, part of the Saab group – as it’s equipped with Barracuda camouflage panels. The images show the craft first in its standard form, then seamlessly blending with a rocky shoreline, and finally, fully hidden under a deployed camouflage net.

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