Baltops is the largest exercise conducted in the Baltic Sea waters. The main objective of the exercise is to enhance the interoperability of naval forces among NATO and partner countries under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. The maneuvers place particular emphasis on team coordination and collaborative work among ship crews, allowing for the expansion of training levels. BALTOPS serves as an exercise that reaffirms the role of naval forces in the international security system and fosters a safe environment for the development of maritime economies.
Although Sweden has not formally joined NATO, it participates in Baltops 23 as a partner country. The Swedish Armed Forces have announced that one of their three Gotland-class (A19) submarines, HMS Uppland, will be taking part in the exercise.
The submarine HMS Uppland was constructed at the Kockums shipyard (now owned by the defence company Saab) and entered service in the Swedish Navy in 1996. From 2015 to 2020, the submarine underwent a comprehensive technical modernization, conducted at the Saab Kockums shipyard as well.
According to Saab, HMS Uppland has had 50 new systems installed or modified, of which 20 are new systems that in the future will be used in the next generation of submarines, the Blekinge-class. This means, for example, new possibilities to analyse the boat’s surroundings with a so called Optronic Mast, replacing the traditional periscope and associated management system.