The Danish government is considering purchasing military submarines again after retiring its entire fleet in 2004.
The move reportedly aims to bolster the country’s maritime capabilities and deter Russian expeditions in the Baltic Sea.
According to Copenhagen foreign policy committee chairman Michael Aastrup Jensen, Danish lawmakers are assessing whether the Scandinavian nation needs to procure new submarines or rely on international allies to secure the sea.
He explained that Denmark is in a very strategic location because Russian vessels from St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad have to sail through its waters.
“Therefore, we need to beef up our defense in depth, which is a completely new awakening for us,” Jensen said, as quoted by Breaking Defense.
The chairman said that submarine discussions are happening “right now” to establish future Danish defense requirements.
Since 1909, the Royal Danish Navy has owned several submarines to protect its territorial waters.
However, a multiparty defense agreement that took effect on January 1, 2005, directed the service to decommission its entire fleet.
The country’s most modern submarine, the HDMS Kronborg, was retired from service in October 2004, while the Tumleren-class HDMS Springeren and HDMS Saelen were divested in November.
A couple of years later, Denmark planned to purchase three submarines for the joint Danish-Swedish Viking submarine project.
However, the plan was canceled, reportedly saving Copenhagen about four billion Danish kroner ($722 million).