Although by tradition a nuteral country, throughout the Cold War and into the present day, Sweden has nevertheless maintained a significant SIGINT capability. Strategically positioned in the Baltic, Sweden's intellignce agencies and armed forces have maintained close links with Western forces and share intelligence with NATO and the USA. The dangers of engaging in SIGINT activity in the Baltic was highlighted on 13 June 1952 when a Swedish DC-3 serial number 79001 was shot down by Soviet fighters with the loss of the eight man crew. Three days later a Swedish TP47 Catalina serial number 47002 engaged on a SAR mission looking for the missing DC-3, was shot down by Soviet MiG-15 aircraft over international waters, although luckily the crew managed to survive.
Despite these losses, Sweden mantained a SIGINT capability by acquiring a TP82 Vickers Varsity, serial number 82001 (ex RAF WJ900) in 1953 and two TP52 Canberra B2s in 1960, serial numbers 52001 and 52002 (ex RAF WH711 and WH905).
In 1971 Sweden purchased two ex SAS Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelles for SIGINT duties. Fitted with a long ‘canoe’ faring under the forward fuselage housing various SIGINT receivers, these two aircraft known as the TP85 were given the serial numbers 85172 and 85210 and patrolled the cold waters of the Baltic for over 25 years, trawlling for intelligence from within the old Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. Although these two venerable aircraft performed well, as the years passed and the aircraft was gradually retired from civil airlines, they became increasingly expensive to operate, particularly as spare parts became more difficult to obtain.
In 1995 to replace these two obsolete aircraft Sweden selected the well known Gulfstream IV business jet and two aircraft, Serial No’s 102002 ‘002’ and 102003 ‘003’, were converted for SIGINT duties. These two aircraft are operated by the SIS-Division of F16M at Maalmslatt which re-locatedto Uppsala early in 2002. In Swedish service the aircraft are known as the S 102B Korpen (Raven) and the 2 aircraft are individually named Hugin and Munin after Odin's pair of intelligence gathering Ravens. The Gulfstream's offer much improved mission flexibility over the old Caravelles, particularly in terms of endurance and operating height. In support of NATO peace keeping operations these aircraft have also operated in the Adriatic area, the first time they are known to have been deployed outside Sweden. The aircraft can easily be identified by the long ‘canoe’ faring under the forward fuselage and the various SIGINT aerials underneath the wings and rear fuselage.
Updated 29 Dec 06