Submarines of the German Navy are equipped with navigation devices developed by a Russian company claims BILD am SONNTAG, Germany’s largest-selling national Sunday newspaper published in Berlin. The data encryption of these systems does not meet the military standard, which is considered particularly secure, states the article.
In 2005, during the chancellery of Gerhard Schroeder, about 100 ships of the German Navy were equipped with new navigation systems of the Russian company Transas. But later, the German government preferred Transas and, according to BILD am SONNTAG, installed Navi-Sailor 4100, a navigation device to determine the location, speed and route on the most modern German submarines U 35 operated since 2015 and U 36 which is in Bundeswehr’s armament since 2016. The two German built 212A class submarines use a mix of hydrogen cell, diesel and battery propulsion and are fitted with six torpedo tubes.
As per the newspaper, Transas was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990 and operates in both the civilian and military sectors. In 2018, the company was acquired by the Finnish company Wartsila, but the armaments division remained in Russian hands. Former Transas engineers are now developing combat drones for the Russian military. According to security experts, this part of the company is in the spotlight of Western intelligence services because of its close ties with Russia’s security apparatus.
In the summer of 2020, German counterintelligence warned about the maritime navigation system. “During a worst-case cyber attack, navigation data could be hacked and the ship could fully lose operability,” Bild quoted an unnamed officer. The report also points out that the Russians sometimes carry out naval maneuvers close to Germany’s Baltic Sea coastline.
Gerhard Schroeder was the Chancellor of Germany from 1998-2005 and he is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rosneft, Independent Director. He is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Nord Stream 2 project by Gazprom.
The civilian business of Transas which is held by Wartsila provides 35% of electronic chart systems used by world shipping and ports, and 45% of world simulation equipment, typically used for training. The company website also states that the marine onboard equipment & data services are used on more than 13,000 commercial vessels and patrol boats of naval and Coast Guard fleets from over 100 nations.