Cables connecting Norway’s submarine surveillance network have mysteriously been cut. Police are summoned to look into the matter. There is suspicion that Russia might have “sabotaged” the equipment.

  • The police were summoned to inquire whether Russia had tampered cables
  • Subsea sensors were “sabotage” with 2.5milles cables taken out
  • They help Russia monitor fish in a strategic area. 

The cables to a Norwegian submarine surveillance network, which is capable of finding submerged objects, were mysteriously cut.

The suspicion that Russia might have “sabotaged” the underwater sensors which monitor fish, but are capable of picking up movements of sub-marines was enough to prompt police officers to call in.

The cables were cut and then disappeared, with the Institute of Marine Research describing ‘extensive damage’ to the outer area of the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory.

LoVe comprises a network underwater cables and sensors that is located on Norway’s Continental Shelf. It is an area of strategic significance for Russia as well.

LoVe has not been operational since April, when it was declared to be fully functional.

Police were called in to investigate amid suspicion Russia could have 'sabotaged' the undersea sensors, which predominantly monitor fish but can pick up the movement of submarines. Pictured, the surveillance network

An investigation was launched by police after Russia’s suspicions that Russia had’sabotage’ its undersea sensor network. These sensors are used to monitor the movements of sub-marines but not fish. This is the surveillance network.

The Norwegian military and Police Security Service are investigating possible damage to the Research Surveillance System, which was in place to track the impacts of climate change.

It provides live data, including images, sounds, and methane emission measurements, to scientists. 

Its sensors can pick up submarine activity. The first data it collects is sent to the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.

‘FFI is believed to routinely remove traces of any submarine activity in the area before turning over the observatory’s data to IMR so that it only contains fishing, currents, and climate information,’ according to a report from Norway’s News in English website. 

‘We don’t care so much about the submarines in the area (located not far from onshore military installations at Andøya, Evenes and other bases in Northern Norway), but we know the military is,’ IMR director Sissel Rogne told the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. 

‘You could see what’s going on down there regarding all types of U-boats [submarines] and all other countries’ U-boats.’

Geir Perdersen, LoVe’s project leader, stated in a statement that someone had torn down cables from outlying regions.

Reports claim that LoVe removed more than 2.5 miles of its 40-miles of electrical and fiber optic cables.

An unmanned submarine traced the cause to Node 2, a surveillance platform 820 feet underwater that was dragged away from its normal location. Another mission in September found Node 3 had also been moved and its cables were missing

The cause was traced by an unmanned submarine to Node 2 which is a surveillance platform located 820 feet under the seafloor. However, it was later dragged out of its original location. In September, another mission found that Node 3 was also moved and the cables had gone missing.

And the observatory has been affected by interference since at least last April, according to reports in the Dagens Næringsliv.

That was when the connection between the sensor network and the control station at Hovden on the northern island of Langøya was lost. 

Unmanned submarines traced the incident to Node 2 (a surveillance station 820 feet underwater), which was then dragged from its usual location.

In September, another mission found Node 3, which had been also moved, was missing its cables.

Rogne told Dagens Næringsliv whatever vessel severed it would need considerable power because of the cables’ size and weight. 

Around 9.5 tonnes of cable remains missing, as IMR’s Øystein Brun claimed it was likely they were cut deliberately.

Rogne claimed that the damage was not accidental because Rogne said that a ship would have noticed dislodging cables and reported it to them. 

However, any vessel which could have interfered with cables may be impossible to trace because the transpoder of the ship would be likely off. This means that it was not transmitting its location to Coast Guard.